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Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Traditional Healers on Epilepsy in Lubumbashi

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1106446, PP. 1-8

Subject Areas: Neurology

Keywords: Knowledge, Epilepsy, Tradipraticiens, Lubumbashi/DR Congo

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Abstract

Introduction: Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterized by an abnormality in the electrical activity of the brain: In Lubumbashi, it was reported in a hospital study that 16.8% of patients living with epilepsy consult a traditional practitioner as soon as first epileptic manifestations. The objective of this study was to report the knowledge, attitude and practice of traditional healers in the face of epilepsy in the City of Lubumbashi. Method: From August 13 to October 15, 2019, a descriptive cross-sectional study involved seventy one traditional healers listed or not on the table of the Provincial Health Division of Haut-Katanga and who responded to a questionnaire on the definition, manifestations, causes of epilepsy (according to the International League for the Fight against Epilepsy, ILAE in acronym) and on the knowledge of recipes used in traditional medicine in the treatment of epilepsy. Results: Most traditional healers believed that epilepsy was a brain disease (46.6%) that was recognized by convulsions as the primary manifestation (61.5%). Almost half of traditional healers reported that epilepsy is a contagious disease (53.8%) and had taken incantations before seizures as their primary attitude (38.4%) to stop them; on the other hand, in the event of loss of consciousness they put the patients aside (53.8%). In the major part (66.6%), traditional healers treated epilepsy with a vegetable product and the traditional recipe most used was Azadirachta indica at 30.8%. Conclusion: Epilepsy is considered by traditional healers to be a brain disorder against which treatment with medicinal plants would be the best remedy, although the Congolese pharmacopoeia does not list them.

Cite this paper

Mjumbe, C. K. , Amuri, B. , Zeufack, L. T. , Kalimira, R. M. , Kolela, M. M. and Bora, B. K. (2020). Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Traditional Healers on Epilepsy in Lubumbashi. Open Access Library Journal, 7, e6446. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1106446.

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