What is it about?

We investigated changes in the prevalence and risk factors for epilepsy and impairments in cognitive, hearing, vision and motor functions in a health and demographic surveillance in Kilifi, Kenya. We conducted similar two-phase surveys in 2001 and 2015 and assessed admission trends with adverse perinatal events using data from a local referral hospital serving the defined area.

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Why is it important?

Current scientific evidence on prevalence, risk factors, and geographical distribution of neurological impairments and disability is required to provide evidence for setting research and policy priorities and planning public health interventions.

Perspectives

This work used several epidemiological and statistical approaches to address an important yet rarely studied topic. We found a significant decline between 2001 and 2015; however, the prevalence of neurological impairments in this rural and coastal part of Kenya remains unacceptably high for the five domains. Most of the identified risk factors such as adverse perinatal interventions, undernutrition, and infectious diseases are amenable to appropriate public health interventions.

Dr Jonathan Abuga

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This page is a summary of: Neurological impairment and disability in children in rural Kenya, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, September 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.15059.
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