Our Project Aims in Africa
Our project aims to reduce the number of undiagnosed patients, improve access to treatment across Africa, to reduce the treatment gap and morbidity of people with epilepsy, train and educate health professionals, change community attitudes towards epilepsy and dispels stigma, and work with policy makers to achieve greater prioritization for epilepsy. All our activities building high-impact, sustainable, locally-owned epilepsy care programs.
Our Project Areas of Concern
Right now we do most of our work in the UK and Africa, however we plan to expand into other regions as well.
Why We Work in Africa
Epilepsy is responsible for an enormous amount of suffering on the African continent. It affects 10,000,000 people directly, of all ages, but especially within childhood, adolescence and the ageing population. The younger age balance in African populations compared with other societies may also be a factor in the higher prevalence, as epilepsy is more common in young people. It remains as the most prevalent, neglected, and serious neurological disorder as well as one of the major causes of disability in Africa. The incidence of epilepsy in developed countries is taken to be around 50 per 100,000 (range 40−70 per 100,000/year) while the incidence of epilepsy in resource-poor countries is generally higher in the range of 100−190 per 100,000/year.
In spite of global advances in diagnosis and treatment in recent years, it is estimated that the larger percentage of people with epilepsy in Africa are not treated with modern anti-epileptic drugs. The World Health Organization estimates that of the 10 million people in Africa who live with epilepsy, 80% or eight million are not treated with readily available modern anti-epileptic drugs, the cheapest of which only cost about US$ 5.00 per patient per year. However, if properly treated, up to 70% of people with this condition could live productive and fulfilling lives, free from seizures.
There are economic and public health implications of the high prevalence of epilepsy in Africa, which is mainly due to a number of factors, including poor obstetric care with consequent increased perinatal brain injury, high levels of head injury in children and adults, central nervous system and other infections and, in particular, the aftermath of cerebral malaria.
There is a deep-rooted prejudice against Epilepsy and many still attribute it to witchcraft and curses. The result is that the person with Epilepsy seeks treatment from traditional healers (herbal medicines, scarifications or other forms of healing) or christian spiritual healing. A combination of traditional beliefs, poverty, lack of medical care, and inability to fulfill their social roles has a negative impact on the lives of people with Epilepsy in Africa. Schooling, employment and status in the community are adversely influenced by uncontrolled epilepsy.
Our Project in Ethiopia
The program will serve the whole regions of Ethiopia and will work in partnership with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health, Faith Based Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Non-governmental Organizations, private and government hospitals and clinics.
Key project activities to be carried out by this project
- Facilitate and provide epilepsy care
- Raise general awareness and understanding of Epilepsy
- Improve the well-being of people with Epilepsy to address the psychosocial implications of Epilepsy
- Build capacity in diagnosis and management of epilepsy
- Partnership working for prevention, care and information gathering on Epilepsy
- Advocacy that seeks to ensure that people with Epilepsy are able to have their voice heard on issues that are important to them.
Types of Beneficiaries
CareEpilepsy’s care will be for everybody, but with particular attention given to the special needs of particularly vulnerable populations; namely, people with Epilepsy. The direct beneficiaries of the service will be people with Epilepsy and their families. The public at large will be indirect beneficiaries of our service.