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Table 1 Onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy (OAE), challenges and opportunities

From: From river blindness control to elimination: bridge over troubled water

New findings Challenges Opportunities
Burden of disease caused by onchocerciasis is more important than previously estimated Accurate estimation of burden of disease due to onchocerciasis, including OAE, is a pressing need Determination of OAE prevalence and incidence provides an argument to strengthen and accelerate onchocerciasis elimination programmes by identifying areas of weakness
  OAE awareness and advocacy are inadequate Determination of OAE prevalence and incidence provides an argument to obtain more funding for operational research for onchocerciasis elimination efforts
High prevalence/ incidence of OAE suggest ongoing onchocerciasis transmission Strengthen epilepsy surveillance in onchocerciasis endemic regions CDDs could be engaged in assisting with epilepsy surveillance
OAE is preventable Biannual CDTI should be promoted Message will increase the motivation of populations to take ivermectin, potentially increasing compliance
  Misconceptions and stigma associated with epilepsy Health promotion activities to reduce misconceptions and stigma among populations
OAE is treatable In onchocerciasis-endemic regions, a decentralised system is needed to diagnose and treat epilepsy early and appropriately CDDs could be trained to monitor antiepileptic treatment adherence
  Little collaboration between onchocerciasis elimination and mental health programmes Onchocerciasis and public mental health programmes working together
  1. CDDs community drug distributors, CDTI community directed treatment with ivermectin, OAE onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy