ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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EEG services for children in Africa: Pilot survey of capacity and needs
Veena Kander

Last modified: 2018-09-09


Introduction: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the highest burden of epilepsy in the world. Most epilepsies start during childhood. Electroencephalography (EEG) assists with the management of epilepsy. Performing an EEG requires specific skills especially for children. Misinterpretation can easily be made. EEG studies in resource limited countries are performed by a range of individuals. EEGs are interpreted by health practitioners often with limited or no training in paediatric studies.

Method: A pilot survey was sent to African Paediatric Fellowship Program (APFP) alumni (African doctors who specialised in the researchers’ centre) to explore the need for clinical technologists in Africa.

Results: 25/70 (36%) surveys were returned. 24 / 25 confirmed need for clinical technologists. 64% (16/25) had specific interest in neurology compared to 8% (2/25) needing other skills. 16/25 (64%) had access to staff with clinical technology skills. Only six (24%) of the personnel performing clinical technology tasks had formal training (two international and four local), the remainder trained “on the job”. Entry level included high school graduate, nurses and clinical officer. Nurses were considered the most effective adjunct to the service. 96% (24/25) needed staff with specific clinical technology skills. 3/25 responders were paediatric neurologists.

Conclusion: In Africa medical officers and nurses trained to perform paediatric neurophysiology skills could enable effective EEG studies, and improve the clinical management of epilepsy. The APFP is exploring training models unique for health practitioners in Africa to equip them with the skills to effect change essential for efficient and safe service delivery.



EEG, Children, Africa

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