Access of patients with epilepsy to medical care in Guinea : enquiry on obstacles linked to the social and anthropological context and to availability of drugs Volume 20, issue 1, janvier-février-mars 2008

Médecin directeur de Fraternité médicale Guinée, 030 BP34 Conakry, Guinée

Epilepsy is a disease known since antiquity which has remained a subject of controversy in popular culture all over the world. In Africa, particularly in Guinea, the obstacles impairing access to medical care of patients with epilepsy are numerous : taboos which surround the disease are still current. Weak implication of health agents and difficulties of access to drugs are added impairments. In order to better understand the obstacles to care in our country, we ran a survey of 320 persons (health professionals, epileptic patients and their families, general population and social leaderus) through structured semi-individual interviews and focus group. The study shows that in addition to the limited resources for diagnosis and treatment found in Guinea, there are relatively vulnerable obstacles which require the implication of general practitioners, of paramedics and of the public at large, in order to produce better conditions for patients with epilepsy.