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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.