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Improving diagnostics and care for childhood onset epilepsies and its common neurological co-morbidities in Tanzania (Joint-COE)


Childhood onset epilepsies (COE) are important causes of childhood morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and are frequently accompanied by neurodevelopmental disabilities such as intellectual disability (ID). The treatment gap in SSA amounts to 80%, and stigma associated with both epilepsy and ID further increase disease burden for children and caregivers. Genetic factors are assumed to play a major role in COE, but access to genetic testing is non-existing in Tanzania. In this project we will 1) strengthen the research capacity on COE in Tanzania by establishing a research group supporting resident neurologists and PhD students in the development of research protocols addressing COE in Tanzania, and 2) improve quality of life of children with epilepsy (CWE) in Tanzania by a) improving diagnosis and care for CWE, by strengthening medical education and local implementation of genetic testing; b) reducing the treatment gap by education of caregivers of CWE, c) improving access and quality of community-based rehabilitation programs c) promoting public awareness initiatives to improve inclusion of CWE in society and reduce stigma.

Intervention type



01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Sarah Weckhuysen
Local promoter Edward Kija
Local partner institution Universiteit Antwerpen
visit www.uantwerpen.be
Local partner institution Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
Other local partners Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre
visit http://www.kcmc.ac.tz/?q=home
Budget € 89.757