Improving Services for Children with Epilepsy in South West Uganda, 2013 and 2015-16
Funded by: The Tropical Health and Education Trust (DFID)
In 2013, the East London NHS Trust was given a start-up grant to do a needs assessment relating to accessibility of epilepsy services in SW Uganda.
A stakeholders conference, titled ‘Improving Access to Services for People with Epilepsy’ was held in Mbarara, with 48 stakeholders in attendance, including representatives from the Ministry of Health, service providers, traditional healers, service users and community leaders.
The conference was successful in raising awareness of the scale of the problem of epilepsy in Uganda and it generated both ideas and momentum for how the problem could be best addressed.
A follow up grant was then awarded to the Butabika-East London Link in 2015, to build local capacity for the early assessment, recognition and treatment of epilepsy. The project employs a train the trainer method, with mental health workers at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital receiving training in better recognition, understanding, and management of epilepsy as well as the skills to teach others.
Members of this cohort will train health workers at the primary care level and Village Health Teams in two sub-counties of Mbarara so that they will be able to recognise and treat epilepsy more effectively and provide appropriate referrals.