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THE CAUSE AND MANAGEMENT OF EPILEPSY IN NIGERIA

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10 epilepsy treatments – from lowest to highest risk | Brain | UT  Southwestern Medical Center

                                                     Abstract

This study was set to investigate the cause and management of epilepsy in Nigeria. The study was guided by three carefully formulated research questions which were in line with the research objectives. The population of the study was restricted to majorly residents from Warri North Local Government Area in Delta State. The sample size of 100 respondents was randomly selected from 134 respondents which represented the population of the study. Data for this study was collected from both primary and secondary sources. A well-structured questionnaire was shared to the respondents and information gathered revealed that; epilepsy is causes by tumors, strokes, brain damage from illness or injury and other factors. There are prevention measures to epilepsy which includes prevention of traumatic brain injuries, lower the chances of stroke and heart disease and getting vaccinated. The study concluded that despite substantial advances in epilepsy treatment, the condition continues to pose a tremendous healthcare burden in terms of physical, social, emotional, and financial expenses. It was recommended that the Nigerian government should launch Information Education Communication (IEC) programs to teach the community the causes, symptoms, first aids and the roles of people with epileptic health conditions in the society.

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

Epilepsy is a global health issue that affects roughly 50 million individuals globally. It is one of the most common chronic neurological illnesses in the world, with severe physical, economic, and discriminatory effects in some regions. However, proper and timely therapies can help to lessen the healthcare burden and financial expense of treating epilepsy. Epilepsy is the most frequent non-infectious neurologic illness in emerging African countries, including Nigeria, and it remains a serious medical and societal issue. Epilepsy has long been believed to be a sacred affliction brought on by a god’s invasion of the body. It was thought that only a god could deprive a healthy man of his senses, throw him to the ground, convulse him, and then immediately restore him to his former self. The name ‘lunatic’ was first used to describe epileptic patients since gods were thought to live in heavenly spheres, including the moon. In contrast, mad people were referred to as maniacs, and their lunacy was caused by an invasion of the body by devils or bad spirits. Africa as a whole has approximately 10 million people with epilepsy. This proportion accounts for around 20% of the global epileptic population (Mugumbate and Zimba 2018). Nigeria has a sizable number of people with epilepsy, spread across numerous communities and age categories.

 Epilepsy is prevalent in poor countries, with incidence rates ranging from 5.3 to 37 per 1,000 individuals (Okoye et al. 2016). Developing countries also have a wider treatment gap for epilepsy than industrialized ones (Mushi et al. 2012). Multiple interconnected factors lead to the massive variance in treatment gaps. Medical personnel are in short supply in African healthcare systems, and anti-epileptic drugs are difficult to come by. Most healthcare facilities are located in cities far from patients’ residences, making it difficult for them to access care (Anard et al. 2019). The majority of Africans with epilepsy developed it as youngsters. A new study finds a 75% treatment gap, with the majority of cases inaccessible, despite statistics showing that more than 42% of funded activities aiming at improving access to anti-epileptic drugs are based in Africa (Jost et al. 2018). Many of the risk factors for epilepsy appear to be more prevalent in Africa, where incidence is high and there is a huge unmet demand for treatment, with insufficient evidence on how to bridge these gaps (Wilmshurst et al. 2014). Aside from poor health-care system performance and other structural issues, existing epilepsy treatment gaps are linked to cultural values, beliefs, and practices that influence how lay people perceive, react to, and possibly recover from epilepsy. These characteristics also contribute to the mismatch between the current biological system and lay perceptions of epilepsy’s aetiology, severity, and treatment options (Mugumbate and Zimba 2018). Religious beliefs in certain African tribes have led to an increasing association of epilepsy with supernatural and paranormal abilities. According to Mugumbate et al. (2018), many African Christians and Muslims believe that epilepsy is caused by an evil spirit and that God may spiritually rehabilitate them. This belief influences people’s attitudes about illness, as the vast majority choose to engage traditional healers or faith healers to expel the evil spirit from epileptic patients, resulting in a delay in receiving medical care and victim stigma. Farrukh et al. (2018) discovered in a systematic review of treatment adherence and decision-making that belief that epilepsy caused by spiritual factors cannot be treated with modern medicine effects the preferred mode of therapy. Despite effective antiepileptic medications in biomedicine, patients with epilepsy continue to seek traditional healers due to cultural beliefs surrounding the disease. These findings will throw more light on contextual information concerning patients’ dissatisfaction with biological therapies in settings when physical access was not indicated as a barrier by some patients seeking support for epilepsy (Auditeau et al., 2019). Traditional medicine may include exploitative practices and obscure methods. Understanding what tactics are available will be crucial to establish whether or not the treatment options being employed are helpful, as well as how to reduce abuse. Previous research has highlighted the need for additional research in this area, particularly into current treatment approaches and how African traditional healers’ understanding and construction of epilepsy and neurological conditions influences the therapeutic outcomes and services they provide (Winkler et al. 2010; du Toit and Pretorius 2018). More study in both directions is required to fully understand current treatment gaps and how to enhance care accessibility and acceptability (Auditeau et al. 2019). Similarly, and perhaps more crucially, research is needed to demonstrate how traditional healers are addressing developing gaps in epilepsy care by providing new remedies and treatment options (Kaddumukasa et al. 2018; Anand et al. 2019).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Epilepsy is a long-term (chronic) disease that causes repeated seizures due to abnormal electrical signals produced by damaged brain cells. A burst of uncontrolled electrical activity within brain cells causes a seizure. Seizures can include changes to your awareness, muscle control (your muscles may twitch or jerk), sensations, emotions and behavior.

Epilepsy is also called a seizure disorder. Anyone, of any age, race or sex, can develop epilepsy. In the U.S., about 3.4 million people have epilepsy. Of this number, 3 million are adults and 470,000 are children. There are 150,000 new cases of epilepsy in the U.S. each year. Worldwide, about 65 million people have epilepsy. The cells in your brain send messages to and receive messages from all areas of your body. These messages are transmitted via a continuous electrical impulse that travels from cell to cell. Epilepsy disrupts this rhythmic electrical impulse pattern. Instead, there are bursts of electrical energy like an unpredictable lightning storm between cells in one or more areas of your brain. This electrical disruption causes changes in your awareness (including loss of consciousness), sensations, emotions and muscle movements.

Most citizens in the African countries especially Nigeria has been victims of epilepsy making life no more worth living for most people who lack the necessary attention the need. Epilepsy are caused by different factors which includes, imbalance of nerve-signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, tumors, strokes, and brain damage from illness or injury, or some combination of these. This study will pass necessary information needed by epileptic people to manage their problems as it will tends to examine the causes and management of Epilepsy in the entire federation.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of this study is to investigate the causes and management of epilepsy in Nigeria. The specific objectives are;

  1. To ascertain the causes of epilepsy among resident of Warri North Local Government Area.
  2. To examine the prevention measures to epilepsy among resident of Warri North Local Government Area.
  • To ascertain the symptoms of epilepsy in among resident of Warri North Local Government Area.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the causes of epilepsy among resident of Warri North Local Government Area?
  2. What are the prevention measures to epilepsy among resident of Warri North Local Government Area?
  • What are the symptoms of epilepsy among resident of Warri North Local Government Area?

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