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African network to study, treat and prevent onchocerciasis associated epilepsy (OAE-Africa)


Recently, the consortium involved in this project collected strong clinical and epidemiological evidence that nodding syndrome is one of the clinical presentations of onchocerciasis (river blindness)-associated epilepsy (OAE) and that this form of epilepsy is preventable by strengthening onchocerciasis elimination programs. Despite this evidence there is still little awareness about the important public health problem caused by OAE and a complete lack of interventions to address the problem.Eight African partners of the Democratic Republic Congo, Uganda and Tanzania, all with complementary OAE expertise, will be involved in the project. By increasing their research capacity and through multi-country studies we hope to solve the remaining OAE research questions. Moreover, by joining forces, including the organisation of a high profile international workshop on OAE, we aim to put OAE on the international development agenda. This project will increase OAE awareness among affected communities, local health care workers, health policymakers and hopefully funders in order to take appropriate actions.

Intervention type



01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Robert Colebunders
Local promoter Bruno Mmbando
Local partner institution Universiteit Antwerpen
visit www.uantwerpen.be
Local partner institution National Institute for Medical Research
Other local partners Busitema University
Gulu University
visit www.gu.ac.ug
Makerere University
Infectious Diseases Institute
visit http://www.idi-makerere.com
Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre
visit http://www.kcmc.ac.tz/?q=home
Provincial Ministry of Health Ituri
Budget € 134.960