Bhalla et al (2013) – Epilepsy in Cambodia-treatment aspects and policy implications: a population-based representative survey.

Bhalla D, Chea K, Hun C, Chan V, Huc P, Chan S, Sebbag R, GĂ©rard D, Dumas M, Oum S, Druet-Cabanac M, Preux PM.

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 5;8(9):e74817 – AccĂšs libre AccĂšs rĂ©servĂ©

 

INTRODUCTION: We tested two treatment strategies to determine: treatment (a) prognosis (seizure frequency, mortality, suicide, and complications), (b) safety and adherence of treatment, (c) self-reported satisfaction with treatment and self-reported productivity, and policy aspects (a) number of required tablets for universal treatment (NRT), (b) cost of management, (c) manpower-gap and requirements for scaling-up of epilepsy care.

METHODS: We performed a random-cluster survey (N = 16510) and identified 96 cases (≄1 year of age) in 24 villages. They were screened by using a validated instrument and diagnosed by the neurologists. International guidelines were used for defining and classifying epilepsy. All were given phenobarbital or valproate (cost-free) in two manners patient’s door-steps (March 2009-March 2010, primary-treatment-period, PTP) and treatment through health-centers (March 2010-June 2011, treatment-continuation-period, TCP). The emphasis was to start on a minimum dosage and regime, without any polytherapy, according to the age of the recipients. No titration was done. Seizure-frequency was monthly and self-reported.

RESULTS: The number of seizures reduced from 12.6 (pre-treatment) to 1.2 (end of PTP), following which there was an increase to 3.4 (end of TCP). Between start of PTP and end of TCP, >60.0% became and remained seizure-free. During TCP, ∌26.0% went to health centers to collect their treatment. Complications reduced from 12.5% to 4.2% between start and end of PTP and increased to 17.2% between start and end of TCP. Adverse events reduced from 46.8% to 16.6% between start and end of PTP. Nearly 33 million phenobarbital 100 mg tablets are needed in Cambodia.

CONCLUSIONS: Epilepsy responded sufficiently well to the conventional treatment, even when taken at a minimal dosage and a simple daily regimen, without any polytherapy. This is yet another confirmation that it is possible to substantially reduce direct burden of epilepsy through means that are currently available to us.

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KEYWORDS:  Epilepsy; Cambodia

 

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