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INTRODUCTION: Epilepsy is common in sub-Saharan Africa, but there is little data in West Africa, to develop public health measures for epilepsy in this region. METHODS: We conducted a three-stage cross-sectional survey to determine the prevalence and risk factors for active convulsive epilepsy (ACE), and estimated the treatment gap in Kintampo situated in the middle of Ghana. RESULTS: 249 people with ACE were identified in a study population of 113,796 individuals. After adjusting for attrition and the sensitivity of the screening method, the prevalence of ACE was 10.1/1000 (95% Confidence Interval (95% CI) 9.5-10.7). In children aged <18 years, risk factors for ACE were: family history of seizures (OR=3.31; 95% CI: 1.83-5.96), abnormal delivery (OR=2.99; 95% CI: 1.07-8.34), problems after birth (OR=3.51; 95% CI: 1.02-12.06), and exposure to Onchocerca volvulus (OR=2.32; 95% CI: 1.12-4.78). In adults, a family history of seizures (OR=1.83; 95% CI: 1.05-3.20), never attended school (OR=11.68; 95% CI: 4.80-28.40), cassava consumption (OR=3.92; 95% CI: 1.14-13.54), pork consumption (OR=1.68; 95% CI: 1.09-2.58), history of snoring at least 3 nights per week (OR=3.40: 95% CI: 1.56-7.41), exposure to Toxoplasma gondii (OR=1.99; 95% CI: 1.15-3.45) and Onchocerca volvulus (OR=2.09: 95% CI: 1.29-3.40) were significant risk factors for the development of ACE. The self-reported treatment gap was 86.9% (95% CI: 83.5%-90.3%). CONCLUSION: ACE is common within the middle belt of Ghana and could be reduced with improved obstetric care and prevention of parasite infestations such as Onchocerca volvulus and Toxoplasma gondii.

Original publication




Journal article


Pan Afr Med J

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Active Epilepsy, Ghana, risk factors, sub-Saharan Africa, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Child, Preschool, Cross-Sectional Studies, Epilepsy, Female, Ghana, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Middle Aged, Parasitic Diseases, Prevalence, Public Health, Risk Factors, Young Adult