John Libbey Eurotext

Knowledge of epilepsy and attitudes towards the condition among schoolteachers in Bobo‐Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) Volume 6, issue 1, March 2004

Centre Hospitalier National Souro Sanou, Bobo‐Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

Epilepsy is one of the stigmatising afflictions still common in Africa. The attitudes toward people with epilepsy are influenced by the degree of knowledge of the condition. This study was conducted to assess 260 teachers‘ knowledge and attitude towards epilepsy. They answered a semi‐structured questionnaire in order to quantify their knowledge of and attitude towards epilepsy in Bobo‐Dioulasso. Teachers were chosen at random. Almost all the teachers had heard about epilepsy, with 43.2% of them linking epilepsy to a central nervous system disturbance. Some teachers still thought that epilepsy was contagious or hereditary, and 15.4% objected to having epileptic children in their classes. Their knowledge of the clinical characteristics and first aid for a person during a seizure was unsatisfactory, and 56.5% of teachers who believed that epilepsy could be cured, thought that this disease should be treated by both modern and traditional medicines. The majority of teachers were interested in training involving clinical manifestations, aetiology of epilepsy and first aid procedures. Schools should offer some kind of information and assistance in health matters, and physicians should ensure that teachers have sufficient knowledge of epilepsy. More knowledge among primary school teachers should avoid discrimination against pupils with epilepsy.