Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Research

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Perception of Epilepsy in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo: Findings from Public Opinion Poll

Katabwa Kabongo, Celestin Kaputu, Jerome Nyembo, Emmanuel Tshibangu, Muteta WA Pamando, Bilonda Mbuyamba E, Wembonyama Stanis, Tshimbayi Mukuna and Mukendi Kavulu M

Introduction: In Sub-Saharan Africa, the disease is generally considered a bad spell cast by sorcerers, the sick person or a family curse. In the religious world, they are regarded as divine punishment and can only be cured by prayers and supplications. The aim of this study is to raise the impression of people's perception of epilepsy and its treatment.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study, and a questionnaire was sent to the inhabitants of the city of Lubumbashi, all levels, social and education and religion combined. The duration of the investigation was 5 months, 885 people were interviewed. 45.5% of our respondents are female against 54.5% male (n=885) sex ratio is 1.2; 94.70% of respondents have a high school or higher education. All respondents believe in God. With 82.67% of Christians All have heard of epilepsy, 28.8% in school; 21.8% in mental health centers; but only 49.4% have heard about it on radio and television. 61.8% of our respondents refused to marry a person with epilepsy, 18.3% have attended a seizure, only 33.1% of respondents believe that epilepsy can be treated by the neurologist as 73.0% think that epilepsy is a mystical-religious disease.

Conclusion: From this survey, we hold that 73.0% think that epilepsy is a my mystical-religious disease. Given the fact that 94.73% of respondents have a high level of education one would expect that the perception of epilepsy is more scientific than metaphysical.