Epilepsy is a common problem in the rural areas of Nigeria and Guinea Bissau. Causes can be diverse: meningitis, parasites, unknown. People with epilepsy are stigmatised since it is often linked to evil spirits. Due to frequent seizures children and adults with epilepsy often also have burn wounds, infections and scars in face, hands and legs. This may cause further physical disability or mental retardation. Often epilepsy is seen as contagious which may hinder children to go to school and adults to have lasting relationships.
In the Community
In the target area of CBR Effata people with epilepsy are registered and treated with Phenobarbital. Awareness is given through community meetings and stigmatisation discussed. CBR Effata has done some surveys about the prevalence of epilepsy, causes of epilepsy and treatment of epilepsy. Articles can be downloaded here.