• It remains to be the most prevalent, neglected, and serious neurological disorder as well as one of the major causes of disability in Ethiopia.
  • More than 1 million are estimated to have epilepsy (very conservative) with 500,000 would have active epilepsy (with seizure in the past 1-2 years).
  • Out of the 1 million people are currently affected by epilepsy, of whom only 5% seek medical help, which means 95% are not receiving medical treatment.
  • Inadequate state of epilepsy care in health institutions.
  • Adequate medication is not available
  • Inadequate/limited neurodiagnostic facilities
  • There is a lack of skilled clinicians to identify and care for people with epilepsy, the total number of neurologists being 25 – or one per 2.5 million people.
  • Many children with epilepsy grow up having a lower education level leading to no or low employment opportunities, leading to increased poverty.
  • Lack of knowledge about the causes of epilepsy has been associated with negative attitudes, beliefs, and stigma in the community, workplace, and schools.
  • Many patients are managed through psychiatric services, thus potentially compounding the stigma associated with the condition.
  • Stigma and discrimination causing impaired physical, psychological and social functioning of those affected.
  • Due to stigma, many people with epilepsy have lower employment and education levels and lower socioeconomic status.

The Causes and Effects of Epilepsy

  • The high prevalence of epilepsy in Ethiopia is mainly believed to be due to:
  • Poor obstetric care with a consequent increased perinatal brain injury
  • The aftermath of cerebral malaria.
  • The cerebral complications of endemic parasitic and infectious diseases, and fever
  • Head trauma
  • Poverty-related injuries and diseases

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