In February 2012 a group of dedicated doctors from 19 different countries in African, and a further 5 countries outside Africa, met to discuss issues affecting the management of children with epilepsy in Africa.
Attendees from Africa: Luis Bernadino and Manuel Cruzeiro (Angola), David Bearden (Botswana / USA), Elie Mbonda (Cameroun), Therese Douayoua-Sonan (Cote d’Ivoire), Luc Malimbalimba Maururu (DRC), Ahmed Raouf Ibrahim (Egypt), Kindu Woldemichael (Ethiopia), Eben Badoe (Ghana), Pauline Samia and Charles Newton (Kenya), Macpherson Mallewa (Malawi), Dalila Ibrhimo Sulemane (Mozambique), Wammanda Daniel Robinson (Nigeria), Judy Orikiiza Tatwangire and Febrionie Mushimiyimana (Rwanda), Moustapha Ndiaye (Senegal), Alhaji Alusine Jalloh (Sierra Leone), Jo Wilmshurst, Andre Venter and Gail Scher (South Africa), Haydar El Hadi Babikir (Sudan), Angelina Kakooza and Richard Idro (Uganda), Evans Mpabalwani (Zambia).
From outside Africa: Harry Chugani, Deborah Hirtz, Douglas Postels, Pamela Follett (USA); Helen Cross and Cheryl Hemingway (UK), Lieven Legae (Begium) and Mitsuhiro Kato (Japan).
The program commenced with basic approaches and mimics of epilepsy, and then progressed to discuss more complex issues such as epilepsy surgery. The final day focused on the way forward and covered how information technology resources and non-government organisations can be used. The final part of the meeting consisted of dividing the attendees into small working groups who discussed key themes which had arisen during the meeting namely capacity, definitions, guidelines, and training and education needs. Each theme was summarised by one of the African delegates who co-facilitated a working group.
The meeting was recorded, the videos of the presentations are available on the ICNApedia web-site (www.ICNApedia.org) along with the power-point presentations (after the patient and data confidentiality was addressed).
The presentations were delivered by members of the International Child Neurology Association (ICNA), African Child Neurology Association (ACNA), International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Japanese Child Neurology Society and the delegates.
Twenty-eight countries provided information on their services, capacity and approach to children with epilepsy. Thirty-three delegates from 19 of these countries were able to attend the meeting, those who could not expressed eagerness to remain part of the working group. A further five specialists from countries outside Africa (United Kingdom, United States of America, Belgium and Japan) attended the meeting.