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The NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme has awarded £4.9 million to help fund a project investigating epilepsy in sub-Saharan Africa.

EEG being used with child with epilepsy in Kenya

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has invested £34 million of funding into global health research projects to tackle epilepsy, infection-related cancers and severe stigmatising skin diseases in low- and middle-income countries. 

The NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme has awarded funding to eight projects, including the Epilepsy Pathway Innovation in Africa (EpInA) project led by researchers from the University of Oxford.

Arjune Sen (Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences) and Charles Newton (Department of Psychiatry) together with colleagues at University College London and Newcastle University will work with colleagues in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. They will conduct a series of studies designed to help experts better understand the history of epilepsy, investigate why people with epilepsy are so disadvantaged, and then set out to improve the situation.

 

We are truly delighted to have been awarded the NIHR RIGHT grant and to start on the EPInA project! It is a privilege to be able to perform this work which we hope will make meaningful and sustained improvements in the care of people with epilepsy in Africa.
- Associate Professor Arjune Sen

The project will include:

  • Preventing epilepsy in southern Tanzania
  • Developing an app to help healthcare workers diagnose epilepsy, allowing earlier treatment
  • Determining if text messaging can increase the number of people who take their medication correctly
  • Training primary health care staff in the care of people with epilepsy
  • Developing students and other people to lead future projects in epilepsy.