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Ugandan epilepsy rates "increasing" - minister

27 October, 2005

The number of people with epilepsy in Uganda is increasing, according to the country's health minister, quoted in The New Vision.

The
minister, Jim Muhwezi, speaking at a recent African conference on
epilepsy, said that three-quarters of consultations at mental health
clinics in Uganda are related to epilepsy. He said that the government
recognised epilepsy as a development issue and that the health ministry was training more neurologists.

The
conference, ‘Epilepsy: A Public Health Priority', was held in the
Ugandan capital Kampala and was organised by the health ministry and
the Epilepsy Support Association of Uganda (ESAU).

ESAU
chairman Deus Arinaitwe said that epilepsy in tropical countries was
commonly caused by malaria. While there has not been a national study
to establish the number of people with epilepsy in Uganda, the World Health Organisation, the newspaper reports, estimates that one in 50 people in developing countries has the condition.