Are the children with epilepsy treated traditionally a disadvantaged group? A pilot study

  • Thierry Matonda Ma Nzuzi
  • Gilbert Mananga Lelo
  • Magloire Mpembi Nkosi
  • Joule Madinga
  • Constantin Kabwe Kola
  • Vivi Maketa
  • Pascal Lutumba
  • Katja Polman
  • Marleen Boelaert
  • Jean-Jacques Muyembe
  • Samuel Mampunza Ma Miezi

Abstract

Introduction: in sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of persons with epilepsy who seek traditional treatment is estimated at 80%. Despite that children are the firsts concerned by epilepsy, the characteristics and particularities of the children with epilepsy (CWE) who resort to traditional treatment are not known. The aim of this pilot study was to identify clinical particularities of the CWE who resort to traditional treatment. Methods: CWE between 6 to 17 years were included in the study based on their histories of previous antiepileptic treatments. The CWE previously treated by traditional healers were compared to others CWE. Results: data from 140 CWE whose previous treatments had been documented were selected. The duration of epilepsy (7 [3.0-9.8] years versus 3 [1.0-7.0] years, p=0.013) was higher for the CWE traditionally treated compared to the CWE without any antiepileptic treatment. The seizure frequency (8.7 [1.5-91.3]/month versus 1 [3-30.4]/month, p=0.036) was higher for the CWE traditionally treated compared to the CWE without any antiepileptic treatment, but the p-value was under the Bonferroni correction (p=0.017). There was no differences between the CWE traditionally treated and the CWE previously treated with antiepileptic drugs. Conclusion: compared to others, the CWE who resort to traditional medicine spend much time before consulting health facilities and could have a more serious epilepsy. We have discussed on factors that could explain these differences.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;23

Author Biographies

Thierry Matonda Ma Nzuzi
Department of Psychiatry, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Gilbert Mananga Lelo
Department of Neurology, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Cong
Magloire Mpembi Nkosi
Department of Psychiatry, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Joule Madinga
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
Constantin Kabwe Kola
National Institute for Biomedical Research, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Vivi Maketa
Department of Tropical Medicine, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Pascal Lutumba
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; National Institute for Biomedical Research, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo;Department of Tropical Medicine, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Katja Polman
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
Marleen Boelaert
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
Jean-Jacques Muyembe
National Institute for Biomedical Research, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Samuel Mampunza Ma Miezi
Department of Psychiatry, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Published
2016-07-15
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1937-8688