Cultural and Practical Barriers to Epilepsy Care in Uganda (2018-2019)
While epilepsy affects over 50 million people globally, three of four people in low-resource countries do not get care for this treatable condition. In Uganda, stigma is pervasive: one in five people believes epilepsy is contagious, and there are strong beliefs in supernatural or witchcraft-based causes, treatments and even inoculation. The objective for the 2018-19 Bass Connections project team was to address the question, Given that we now know potent predictors of care-seeking behavior, how will we systematically address the barriers to epilepsy care in Uganda through well designed, culturally relevant and sensitive interventions?
This project team designed an intervention program with the goal of impacting the epilepsy treatment gap in Uganda. This work occurred as Duke Global Neurosurgery and Neurology (DGNN) continued to build the biomedical care training and access infrastructure.
The team utilized numerous sources of data and models, including Bass Connections Phase I barriers data (qualitative and modeled barriers), models of epilepsy awareness programs utilized in East Africa, community education programs for infectious disease and maternal-fetal medicine, models of traditional healer and biomedical care partnerships (e.g., for HIV) and previous research pilots in Kilifi, Kenya.
The intervention included three components: stakeholder education; access to treatment; and traditional and biomedical care partnerships. It was implemented during a field visit in Uganda, with impact data collected pre- and post-implementation.
Summer 2018 – Summer 2019
Identifying Health Care Provider Needs for Epilepsy Care in Uganda (poster by Deborah Koltai Attix, Anthony Fuller, Sarah Snouse, Caleigh Smith, Olivia Ratliff, Grace Cai, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019; runner up, Bass Connections Poster Competition, Judges’ Selection)
This Team in the News
See related teams, Healthcare Provider Education to Reduce Epilepsy Care Disparities in Uganda (2020-2021) and Cultural and Practical Barriers to Epilepsy Care in Uganda (2017-2018).
- Deborah Attix, School of Medicine-Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences;Neurology
- Anthony Fuller, School of Medicine-Neurosurgery
/graduate Team Members
Sarah Snouse, Global Health - MS
/undergraduate Team Members
Grace Cai, Psychology (AB), Global Health (AB2)
Olivia Ratliff, Computer Science (BS)
Caleigh Smith, Biology (BS), Global Health (AB2)
/yfaculty/staff Team Members
Michael Haglund, Duke Global Health Institute|School of Medicine-Neurosurgery
/zcommunity Team Members
Martin Kaddumukasa, Department of Medicine, Makerere University
Mark Kaddumukasa, Department of Medicine, Makerere University
Angelina Kakooza, Department of Medicine, Makerere University