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Experts Worry Over Increasing Cases of Epilepsy in Uganda

Health experts have expressed concern over the increasing numbers of persons living with epilepsy disease in Uganda.

According to a 2020-2022 research conducted by Makerere University School of Public Health, the prevalence rate of epilepsy is high among women standing at 1.73 per cent and 1.63 per cent in men.

Speaking during the release of the Epilepsy National Prevalence study Dissemination and Dialogue meeting on Wednesday in Kampala, the lead researcher Prof Anthony Fuller said the disease is equally distributed across the country ranging from near 0 to over 5 per cent in specific districts.

According to the findings, the eastern region stands with a prevalence of 2.16 per cent, followed by the central and western region both with 1.6 per cent while Northern Uganda has the least number at 1.35 Per cent.

The prevalence rates also vary among patients in different age groups. The rate is high among the youths aged 18 to 35 years at 2.37 per cent followed by those in the 36 to 60 age bracket with 2.33 per cent.

The prevalence is very low among children below the age of 5 years with 0.86 per cent.

Prof Fuller highlighted hat while a number of people live with the condition, the majority are unaware and tend not to seek proper healthcare.

According to the key findings from the nationwide survey, the scientists’    Clinical Validation of a full neuro evaluation showed that the prevalence rate of epilepsy stands at 1.69 per centre- a figure researchers say is among the highest in the East African region. Further, this means that over 770,000 people across Uganda have epilepsy.

The Director Public Health in the Ministry of Health Dr Daniel Kyabayinze said it is crucial for government to carry out sensitization and awareness campaigns in order to stop stigmatization of people with epilepsy.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Epilepsy is a chronic non-communicable disease of the brain that affects people of all ages

WHO reports that around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases.

Source : Monitor