Multi-disciplinary approach to control onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy in the Mahenge area in Morogoro region, TanzaniaOngoing
Despite the use of ivermectin (IVM) once annually for control of onchocerciasis (oncho) (= river blindness) in Mahenge Tanzania, the prevalence of oncho and epilepsy remains high. There is increasing evidence that epilepsy is a complication of oncho and that treatment of oncho can not only eliminate blindness but also reduce epilepsy. Our proposed project aims to: 1) strengthen the multi-disciplinary research capacity for the prevention of oncho and epilepsy in Tanzania. We will establish an oncho-associated epilepsy (OAE) research group to support a master and a PhD-level student in the development of research protocols addressing OAE in the Mahenge region; 2) reduce the prevalence of oncho and the incidence of epilepsy in the Mahenge area by: a) establishing a surveillance system for early diagnosis of epilepsy; b) strengthening and implementing an effective community distribution of IVM; 3) Implement evidence-based guidelines to treat OAE by training local health care workers; 4) introduce community advocacy on epilepsy, epilepsy-associated stigma and discrimination.
01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021