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Pediatric Epilepsy Training in Zambia and Zimababwe

ROW places a high priority on partnering with organizations that address the epilepsy treatment and inclusion gaps among children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

ROW partnered with BAND Foundation to support a proven pediatric epilepsy training course run by the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA). Both BAND and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) provided financial support for the course.

BPNA is a U.K.-based membership organization that is committed to helping close the gap in epilepsy care around the world. BPNA’s vision is “that children can find the treatment they need to lead seizure-free lives, no matter where they live”. BPNA’s Paediatric Epilepsy Training (PET1) program is used to train neurologists, pediatricians, and other healthcare workers to recognize and treat epilepsy. It has become the ‘gold standard’ in the U.K. for training on safe, standard care to pediatricians. In LMICs, BPNA uses a “training of trainers” approach whereby a single training leads to a group of qualified in-country trainers to provide PET1 training going forward.

The new Zimbabwean PET Faculty and their participants in the Levy Mwanawasa Medical University in Lusaka
The new Zambian PET Faculty and their participants at the end of their PET course

In May 2023, our partnership helped mobilize a team of 6 pediatric neurologists from the U.K., Kenya, and South Africa to bring PET1 to Zambia and Zimbabwe. The launch took place in Lusaka, Zambia in partnership with the Zambian Paediatric Association and the Paediatric Association of Zimbabwe. After participating in PET1 themselves and then attending an Instructor Training Day, 27 new faculty members (half from Zambia and half from Zimbabwe) delivered two PET1 courses to 49 delegates. The participants were a mixture of pediatricians, primary care doctors, trainees, and nurses, all of whom have regular contact with children with epilepsy.

Over the next year, the teams will be running the course in their respective countries and planning for the roll-out of further courses over the next 5 years. Ninety-eight percent (98%) of attendees rated the course as excellent or good, and 100% would recommend the course to colleagues.

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