Standardization of epilepsy educational manuals for Ethiopian students, mothers and teachers (SEEM).


  • Seid Ali Gugssa


Background:  The epilepsy stigma and treatment gap is enormous in Ethiopia. The epilepsy resolution by the world health assembly calls for coordinated country wide action on the health, social and public knowledge.  Effective epilepsy education should target to empower people with epilepsy, create school based awareness and cascade public education campaign. This emphasizes the need to develop innovative, collaborative, linguistically and culturally appropriate community epilepsy education manuals tailored to the needs of the target population.   

Objective: To develop and standardize epilepsy education manuals for use by mothers and primary students, and to teachers and health extension workers in Ethiopia.

Methods:  Collaborative frame work design and processes, using the principles of experience- based co-design, was implemented to improve the quality of the epilepsy education manuals. 

Results: The overall feedback from experts and stake holders was very positive. Students, teachers and parents who had participated in the focused group discussion reported a positive view of the epilepsy education manuals. The feedbacks from the study participants were used to develop optimized epilepsy educational manuals for “students and mothers†and “teachers and health extension workers.† 

Conclusion: The applied experience based framework design identified the strengths and weaknesses of the draft epilepsy education manuals. This design allowed experts and stake holders to identify improvement priorities and to formulate and employ changes on the draft epilepsy education manuals.  Follow up pilot and large scale implementation trails will clarify the potential of the educational manuals to alleviate epilepsy stigma and treatment gap in Ethiopia.



Espinosa-Jovel C, Toledano R, Aledo-Serrano Ã, García-Morales I, Gil-Nagel A. Epidemiological profile of epilepsy in low income populations. Seizure. 2018 Mar;56:67–72.

Meyer A-C, Dua T, Ma J, Saxena S, Birbeck G. Global disparities in the epilepsy treatment gap: a systematic review. Bull World Health Organ. 2010 Apr;88(4):260–6.

WHO Information Kit on Epilepsy: What you can do. 23/12/2019

England MJ, Liverman CT, Schultz AM, Strawbridge LM. Epilepsy across the spectrum: promoting health and understanding. A summary of the Institute of Medicine report. Epilepsy Behav EB. 2012 Oct;25(2):266–76.

Getnet A, Woldeyohannes SM, Bekana L, Mekonen T, Fekadu W, Menberu M, et al. Antiepileptic Drug Nonadherence and Its Predictors among People with Epilepsy. Behavioural Neurology. 2016 17/08/2018.

Teferi J, Shewangizaw Z. Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and practice related to epilepsy: a community-based study. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015;11:1239–46.

Gebrewold MA, Enquselassie F, Teklehaimanot R, Gugssa SA. Ethiopian teachers: their knowledge, attitude and practice towards epilepsy. BMC Neurol. 2016 Dec 1;16(1):167.

Bifftu BB, Dachew BA, Tiruneh BT, Alemu WG. First choice of treatment place in the pathways to epileptic care at the outpatient department of University of Gondar Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: Cross-sectional institutional based study. Romigi A, editor. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(8):e0181310.

Bekele YY, Flisher AJ, Alem A, Baheretebeb Y. Pathways to psychiatric care in Ethiopia. Psychol Med. 2009 Mar;39(3):475–83.

Fanta T, Azale T, Assefa D, Getachew M. Prevalence and Factors Associated with Perceived Stigma among Patients with Epilepsy in Ethiopia. Psychiatry Journal. 2015 17/08/2018.

Bifftu BB, Dachew BA, Tiruneh BT. Perceived stigma and associated factors among people with epilepsy at Gondar University Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional institution based study. Afr Health Sci. 2015 Dec;15(4):1211–9.

Mbuba CK, Ngugi AK, Newton CR, Carter JA. The epilepsy treatment gap in developing countries: a systematic review of the magnitude, causes, and intervention strategies. Epilepsia. 2008 Sep;49(9):1491–503.

Koh HK. Toward an Integrated Public Health Approach for Epilepsy in the 21st Century. Prev Chronic Dis. Accessed 17/8/2018.

Kaddumukasa M, Kaddumukasa MN, Buwembo W, Munabi IG, Blixen C, Lhatoo S, et al. Epilepsy misconceptions and stigma reduction interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, a systematic review. Epilepsy Behav. 2018 Aug 1;85:21–7.

Schiemer M. Inclusive Education and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). In: Education for Children with Disabilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Springer: Cham; 2017. pp. 175–86. Accessed 20/8/2018

Tekleâ€Haimanot R, Forsgren L, Ekstedt J. Incidence of Epilepsy in Rural Central Ethiopia. Epilepsia. 2005 Aug 3;38(5):541–6.

Snape DA, Morgan M, Ridsdale L, Goodacre S, Marson AG, Noble AJ. Developing and assessing the acceptability of an epilepsy first aid training intervention for patients who visit UK emergency departments: A multi-method study of patients and professionals. Epilepsy Behav. 2017 Mar 1;68:177–85.

United Nations; Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability-Articles. 23/12/2019

Funk M, World Health Organization, editors. Mental health and development: targeting people with mental health conditions as a vulnerable group. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2010. 74 p.

Toolkit on Disability for Africa: Introducing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. 23/12/2019

Fernandes PT, Snape DA, Beran RG, Jacoby A. Epilepsy stigma: what do we know and where next? Epilepsy Behav EB. 2011 Sep;22(1):55–62.

Hanlon C, Luitel NP, Kathree T, Murhar V, Shrivasta S, Medhin G, et al. Challenges and Opportunities for Implementing Integrated Mental Health Care: A District Level Situation Analysis from Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Montazeri A, editor. PLoS ONE. 2014 Feb 18;9(2):e88437.




How to Cite

Gugssa, S. A. . (2020). Standardization of epilepsy educational manuals for Ethiopian students, mothers and teachers (SEEM). Ethiopian Medical Journal, 58. Retrieved from