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Pandemics and Burden of Stroke and Epilepsy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experience from a Longstanding Health Programme

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The Foundation of the Carlo Besta IRCCS Neurologic Institute, 20133 Milan, Italy
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UniCamillus Saint Camillus International, University of Health Sciences, 00100 Rome, Italy
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University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00100 Rome, Italy
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San Camillo Hospital Department of Cardioscience, 00100 Rome, Italy
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Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL) Roma 1 Regione Lazio, 00100 Rome, Italy
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Community of S. Egidio DREAM Program, Maputo 1102, Mozambique
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Community of S. Egidio DREAM Program, Blantyre 312224, Malawi
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Community of S. Egidio DREAM Program, Balaka 302100, Malawi
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Salvator Mundi International Hospital Neurology, 00100 Rome, Italy
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Telemedicine Department San Giovanni Addolorata Hospital, 00100 Rome, Italy
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Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, 00100 Rome, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052766
Received: 13 January 2021 / Revised: 3 March 2021 / Accepted: 5 March 2021 / Published: 9 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Eighty percent of people with stroke live in low- to middle-income nations, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where stroke has increased by more than 100% in the last decades. More than one-third of all epilepsy−related deaths occur in SSA. HIV infection is a risk factor for neurological disorders, including stroke and epilepsy. The vast majority of the 38 million people living with HIV/AIDS are in SSA, and the burden of neurological disorders in SSA parallels that of HIV/AIDS. Local healthcare systems are weak. Many standalone HIV health centres have become a platform with combined treatment for both HIV and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), as advised by the United Nations. The COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming the fragile health systems in SSA, and it is feared it will provoke an upsurge of excess deaths due to the disruption of care for chronic diseases such as HIV, TB, hypertension, diabetes, and cerebrovascular disorders. Disease Relief through Excellent and Advanced Means (DREAM) is a health programme active since 2002 to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS and related disorders in 10 SSA countries. DREAM is scaling up management of NCDs, including neurologic disorders such as stroke and epilepsy. We described challenges and solutions to address disruption and excess deaths from these diseases during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: sub-Saharan Africa; stroke; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS; COVID-19; medical education; retention; pandemic; care disruption; DREAM programme sub-Saharan Africa; stroke; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS; COVID-19; medical education; retention; pandemic; care disruption; DREAM programme
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leone, M.; Ciccacci, F.; Orlando, S.; Petrolati, S.; Guidotti, G.; Majid, N.A.; Tolno, V.T.; Sagno, J.; Thole, D.; Corsi, F.M.; Bartolo, M.; Marazzi, M.C. Pandemics and Burden of Stroke and Epilepsy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experience from a Longstanding Health Programme. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2766. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052766

AMA Style

Leone M, Ciccacci F, Orlando S, Petrolati S, Guidotti G, Majid NA, Tolno VT, Sagno J, Thole D, Corsi FM, Bartolo M, Marazzi MC. Pandemics and Burden of Stroke and Epilepsy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experience from a Longstanding Health Programme. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(5):2766. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052766

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leone, Massimo, Fausto Ciccacci, Stefano Orlando, Sandro Petrolati, Giovanni Guidotti, Noorjehan A. Majid, Victor T. Tolno, JeanBaptiste Sagno, Darlington Thole, Fabio M. Corsi, Michelangelo Bartolo, and Maria C. Marazzi. 2021. "Pandemics and Burden of Stroke and Epilepsy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experience from a Longstanding Health Programme" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 5: 2766. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052766

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