Factors Underlying Stigmatization of Epilepsy: Case Study of Abasuba and Ameru Communities, Kenya

Objectives: To recognize factors that underlie the stigmatization of people with epilepsy (PWE) in the communities of Abasuba and Ameru, Kenya. Study Design: In this study, cross sectional design was used. Place of research: The study was performed in the sub-districts of Abothuguchi, Miriegameru and Nkuene in the sub-districts of Meru Central and Central, Gwasi and Mbita in the sub-districts of Suba in Kenya. Methodology: It was a cross-sectional, descriptive analysis. A updated participatory rapid evaluation approach that included the use of questionnaires, interview schedules and centered group discussions was used. Interviews were performed with family leaders, medical workers, community-based group executives, patients, parents, administrators, teachers, faith healers and herbalists. Performance: The results of the analysis show an essential statistical association between negative
Epilepsy of fear (~2 = 43.69354, df=1, p<0.05). The fear of epilepsy depends on knowledge of it almost 2 = 7.41663, df=1, p=0.00646). Except among the female respondents in the Meru Central District, occupation was not found to affect fear (almost 2 = 6.19763, df=2, p=0.04510). There was however, no important association between epilepsy apprehension and education level ( ⁇ 2 = 0.15773, df=2, p=0.092436). The idea that epilepsy resulting from a curse or witchcraft is transferable and infectious was profoundly ingrained in the culture of the two groups and that they are treated by society with resentment that results in alienation and social stigma.

Author (s) Details

Tiberry D. O. Nyakwana,
Department of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, 62000-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Jemimah A. Simbauni,
Department of Zoological Sciences, Kenyatta University, P.O.Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

James O. Jowi
Clinical Neurology, Maseno University, P.O.Box 19280 Code 40123, Kisumu, Kenya.

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