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    In Mali, the burden of epilepsy is underestimated due to socio-cultural barriers that keep most people with epilepsy out of the local health facilities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of trained community health workers (CHWs) in identifying epilepsy cases (active case detection) as compared to the passive cases detection (PCD) during outpatient visits at the community health centers in the health districts (HDs) of Kolokani, Kayes, Kéniéba, Sikasso, Kadiolo, and Tominian. A two-phase cross-sectional study was conducted from February to December 2019. In phase 1, trained CHWs conducted a census in 1017 villages organized into 174 community health centers which are part of the six study HDs to identify suspected epilepsy cases (SEC). Investigators used a modified epilepsy screening questionnaire from a validated standard questionnaire with the following three (3) questions: (i) Does or did the subject have a loss of consciousness and/or a loss of urine and/or drooling? (ii) Does or did the subject have an uncontrollable shake or abnormal movements of limb(s) (convulsions), with sudden onset and duration of a few minutes? (iii) Has or had the subject ever been told that he or she has epilepsy? During phase 2, neurologists confirmed the supposedly SEC (censed by the CHWs) in the first 30 villages with the highest number of SEC in each HD that were reported during phase 1. Of a total of 4830 SEC, 422 (10%) were identified by PCD during routine outpatient visits and 4408 (90%) through the active case detection (ACD) using the trained CHWs. The majority of SEC reported by the CHWs (PCD) were confirmed by neurologists, i.e. 82.9% (1645/1985). Phenobarbital was available in only 26 (14.9%) of the 174 surveyed health centers. Confirmed cases of epilepsy were reported in all the 174 health centers with prevalence varying from 91/100,00 to 285/100,000. Active case detection of epilepsy using trained CHWs is an effective approach for epidemiological studies of epilepsy in the community settings as compared to the passive approach. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Citation

    Fatoumata Dite Nènè Konipo, Housseini Dolo, Mariam Daou, Yaya Ibrahim Coulibaly, Hassane Diallo, Moussa Sangare, Siaka Yamoussa Coulibaly, Modibo Sangare, Seydou Doumbia, Youssoufa M Maiga. Using community health workers as an alternative approach for epidemiological research on epilepsy in six health districts in Mali. Epilepsy & behavior : E&B. 2021 Apr;117:107842

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    PMID: 33631436

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