Muktar Aliyu, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H.
Edwin Trevathan, M.D., M.P.H.
Bridging the Childhood Epilepsy Treatment Gap in Northern Nigeria (BRIDGE) (R21TW010899-01)
Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological disorder among children worldwide, about 80% of whom live in low- and middle income countries (LMICs) where the advances in epilepsy care over the past 40 years have not translated to improved outcomes. Approximately 67%-90% of children with epilepsy in the LMICs of sub- Saharan Africa do not receive consistent appropriate treatment – a phenomena known as the epilepsy treatment gap, with associated increased risk of co-morbid conditions and premature death. This BRIDGE project lays a foundation for future clinical trials designed to bridge the childhood epilepsy treatment gap in SSA by (a) mapping the childhood epilepsy treatment gap in Kano, Nigeria, (b) developing and piloting task- shifted epilepsy care teams to target areas of the most severe treatment gap, and (c) developing and piloting epilepsy diagnostic paradigms for use in resource-limited environments like Kano with limited access to EEG. BRIDGE, and the clinical trials to follow, has the potential to reduce the childhood epilepsy treatment gap in Nigeria and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.