Community prevalence of epilepsy in Malagasies Volume 16, issue 2, Avril-Mai-Juin 2004

Lot III‐F‐98 bis, Mahamasina, Antananarivo (101) Madagascar ; Service de Neuropsychiatrie, hôpital Raseta, Befelatanana, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar Service de Neurologie, hôpital Raseta, Befelatanana, Antananarivo, Madagascar

This population‐based prevalence survey was designed to complete a previous hospital study, reporting a high frequency of epilepsy in Madagascar. It has been carried out from June 1 st 2001 to December 31 st 2001, in a geographical area called "Grand Antananarivo", encompassing the capital. Sampled people were interviewed with a validated questionnaire by door to door. Among the 925 screened persons, 25 were ascertained to have an active epilepsy, giving the crude prevalence rate of 27‰, adjusted to 20.8‰, when compared with the western population. General tonic clonic seizures ("Grand mal") accounted for 76 % of cases, and cerebral cysticercosis might be the main cause of partial epilepsy. The disease was strongly associated with people’s habit to live with pigs. Few patients have received an adequate treatment. In conclusion, epilepsy set a real public health problem, requiring an urgent struggle program.