Making Epilepsy a National Priority in African Countries

Aim
Advocating for the implementation of WHO Resolution 68:20 in African countries.

Background
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) General Assembly passed a landmark epilepsy resolution known as WHA68.20: Global burden of epilepsy and the need for coordinated action at the country level to address its health, social and public knowledge implications. This resolution is tremendously important in that it calls on all member countries to address epilepsy seriously by developing and implementing national plans of action. Despite this global declaration, none of the countries in Africa have developed an epilepsy national plan. There has been no political response nor has there been any financial investments in programs that could reduce the epilepsy treatment and knowledge gap at the country level. Previous international agreements like the African Resolution on Epilepsy (2000) were also never adequately implemented, despite research in some countries, such as Zimbabwe and Senegal, showing that the costs of managing epilepsy in resource poor settings were quite minimal.

Steering Committee

  • Dr Jacob Mugumbate, Zimbabwe, Chairperson, IBE Africa Region
  • Youssouf Noormamode, Mauritius, IBE Africa Region Vice-Chairperson
  • Betty B. Nsachilwa, Zambia, Secretary, IBE Africa Region Vice-Chairperson
  • Mary Secco, Canada, Secretary General, IBE
  • Gardiner Lapham, Representative, BAND Foundation
  • Dr Birinus Adikaibe, Nigeria, Representative, ILAE

Project Coordinator

  • Ms. Justine Engole, Email: justine@epilepsyafrica.org

Project Sites and Liason Officers
Six countries were selected to run the project with more expected to join after the initial pilot phase.

Project Sites Liason Officers Contacts
Swaziland Mr Stanley Sangweni info@epilepsy.org.sz

admin@epilepsy.org.sz

stanleysangweni@gmail.com

Kenya N/A
Mauritius Mr. Paramasiva Chengan

dchengan@enl.mu

edycs.org@intnet.mu

South Africa
Zambia Mr. Godfrey Chisenga  +260 977 587391

eazepilepsy@hotmail.com

Zimbabwe Mr Taurai Kadzviti

tau-kat@gmail.com

+263773595246

Funding
The Africa Regional Executive Committee (AREC) has secured funding from BAND Foundation for the implementation of projects to advocate for the implementation of the Resolution WHA68.20.

BAND funds epilepsy research with an emphasis on improving the current state of scientific knowledge and preventing epilepsy-related mortality.  The organisation also actively promotes epilepsy awareness and understanding.  This work is in response to the death in 2008 of Henry Lapham, the eldest son of BAND trustees Nicholas and Gardiner.  An otherwise healthy four-year-old child who had only just started having seizures, Henry died from a little understood phenomenon called Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). For further details: http://bandfdn.org/work/epilepsy/

Progress
Available soon