Global Health Data Exchange - Discover the World's Health Data

Epidemiology and Treatment of Epilepsy in sub-Saharan Africa 2007-2011


General Info
Coverage type 
Time period covered 
12/2007 - 04/2011
Series or system 
Demographic Surveillance System (DSS)
Data type
Demographic surveillance:
  • Cross-sectional

This population-based study measured the prevalence of active convulsive epilepsy and assessed risk factors for this condition in five Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSS). These HDSS sites included: Kilifi (Kenya), Agincourt (South Africa), Iganga-Mayuge (Uganda), Ifakara (Tanzania), and Kintampo (Ghana).

As part of a three-stage screening process, fieldworkers attempted to identify people with epilepsy with questions during routine household censuses. Following this step, detailed questionnaires were administered and clinicians performed examinations. During this process, a random population of age-matched control individuals were selected from each HDSS site. Fieldworkers and clinicians were not told if the participants were control individuals or people possibly having epilepsy. A subgroup of 300 case and 300 control individuals provided blood samples. At the conclusion of the study, 1,711 people were diagnosed with active convulsive epilepsy.

Suggested citation 
Epilepsy Institutes of the Netherlands Foundation, INDEPTH, Ifakara Health Institute, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kintampo Health Research Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), University College London, University of Oxford, University of Witwatersrand. Epidemiology and Treatment of Epilepsy in sub-Saharan Africa 2007-2011.