The scientific sessions form the main part of the congress. The programme covers topics that are highly relevant within the African region and further afield and provide a flavour of the latest research in the field of epilepsy. Sessions will feature presentations from leaders in the discipline, including lectures by world-renowned experts.

The Scientific and Organising Committee has endeavoured to create an appealing and diverse programme from the numerous proposals submitted by ILAE and IBE Chapters and other experts.

Sessions cover the following topics:

  • Treatment gap
  • Epilepsy through the ages
  • The challenges of management
  • Epilepsy, society and cultural aspects
  • Education
  • Capacity building and creating alliances in Africa
  • Prevention is better than cure
  • Current translational and clinical research – implications for patient care
  • Epilepsy in the community
  • ILAE Young Epilepsy Section (ILAE-YES) Town Hall Meeting
  • Social inclusion of persons with epilepsy

Full details of the session programmes may be found in the SESSIONS section below.


Complementing the programme there will be several focused workshops. The ILAE Commission on Pediatrics will hold a workshop on ‘Research in children with epilepsy in Africa – current research practice and challenges to undertaking research’ and the IBE will run a Training Session on the afternoon of 24 August. Further details may be found below.

In addition, an IBRO course will take place pre-congress, on 21 August.


Click on the image below to view the programme schedule.

Treatment gap

  • The epilepsy treatment gap in Africa – Charles Newton (Kenya)
  • Interventions to reduce the treatment gap – Caroline Kathomi Mbuba (Kenya)
  • Implementing a new primary health care model to reduce the epilepsy treatment gap in Mozambique – Palmira Fortunato dos Santos (Mozambique)
  • Raising public awareness of epilepsy in Africa – Taurai Kadzviti (Zimbabwe)

Epilepsy through the ages

  • Infantile spasms; optimising diagnosis and management – Jo Wilmshurst (South Africa)
  • The challenge of the early onset epilepsies – J Helen Cross (United Kingdom)
  • Psychological comorbidities of children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa – Makhta Ba (Senegal)
  • The role of transition programmes for epilepsy in Africa – Pierre Genton (France)

The challenges of management

  • Making a diagnosis – what is required? – Solomon Moshe (USA)
  • Has success of treatment changed over time? – Martin Brodie (Scotland)
  • PNES – detection and tips for treatment – Markus Reuber (United Kingdom)
  • The role of the clinical officer in the management of epilepsy – Anthony Zimba (Zambia)

Epilepsy, society and cultural aspects

  • Media representation of epilepsy – Sally Nyakanyanga (Zimbabwe)
  • Traditional treatments – Lily Kpobi (South Africa)
  • Role of community and government leaders – Sarah Nekesa (Uganda)


  • Challenges from the treatment and education gaps in epilepsy in low, middle and high income countries – Edward Kija (Tanzania)
  • A credit-based certificate program in epileptology: proposal from the Education Task Force (ILAE) – Samuel Wiebe (Canada)

Capacity building and creating alliances in Africa

Co-chairs: Sarah Nekesa (Uganda) & Mary Secco (Canada)

  • 20 and the Global Epilepsy Report – Mary Secco (Canada)
  • Working with the African Union to improve epilepsy policies and services in Africa – Lefhoko Kesamang (Congo)
  • Working with governments to improve epilepsy care – Dorcas Sithole (Zimbabwe)
  • Creating alliances with other organisations – Mesu’a-Kabwa Luabeya (Congo, Dem. Rep. of)

Prevention is better than cure

  • Perinatal risk factors and the epilepsies – Pauline Samia (Kenya)
  • Head injury – Nico Enslin (South Africa)
  • Onchocerca volvulus, the unrecognised cause of the large burden of epilepsy in Africa – Richard Idro (Uganda)
  • Neurocysticercosis and epilepsy – Athanase Millogo (Burkina Faso)

Current translational and clinical research – implications for patient care

  • Cestode larvae in the brain: investigating cellular mechanisms of neurocysticercosis – Joseph Raimundo (South Africa)
  • Infectious and inflammatory contribution to epilepsy development – epidemiological and clinical aspects – Angelina Kakooza (Uganda)
  • Advances in epilepsy genetics – derived concepts for clinical care of patients – Alina Esterhuizen (South Africa)
  • Cortical dysplasias – diagnostic and treatment strategies – Samuel Wiebe (Canada)

Epilepsy in the community

  • Misconceptions and stigma reduction interventions in SSA – Mark Kaddumukasa (Uganda)
  • BRIDGE project in Nigeria – Aminu Taura Abdullahi (Nigeria)
  • Rural epilepsy challenges and initiatives – Max Bangura (Sierra Leone)

ILAE Young Epilepsy Section (ILAE-YES) Town Hall Meeting

  • Introducing YES to Africa: What is YES – why and how to get involved? – Musa Watila (Nigeria)
  • Opportunities for young clinicians and researchers in Africa; and Q&A session – Charles Hammond (Ghana), Edward Kija (Tanzania), Robert Sebunya (Uganda)

Innovations for Africa

  • The ketogenic diet – when and how – Kath Megaw (South Africa)
  • Establishing an epilepsy surgery programme – Graham Fieggen (South Africa)
  • How can technology play a role in resource poor settings – Najib Kissani (Morocco)
  • Taking management to the patient – Amadou Gallo Diop (Senegal)

Social inclusion of persons with epilepsy

  • Social inclusion – Jacob Mugumbate (Zimbabwe)
  • Promoting human rights – Youssouf Noormamode (Mauritius)
  • Income and employment strategies – Action Amos (Malawi)
  • Shame and resistance – Johannah Keikelame (South Africa)

ILAE Commission on Pediatrics – Research in children with epilepsy in Africa – current research practice and challenges to undertaking research

Co-chairs: Jo Wilmshurst (South Africa) & Pauline Samia (Kenya)

  • Current research trends in children with epilepsy in LMIC – Pauline Samia (Kenya)
  • Access to training in paediatric epilepsy in Africa – Jo Wilmshurst (South Africa)
  • Challenges and approaches to undertaking epilepsy research in Africa – tbc
  • Challenges and solutions to establishing Basic Science Research in Africa – Joseph Raimondo (South Africa)
  • How to approach publishing your epilepsy research – Markus Reuber (United Kingdom)

The epilepsy treatment gap for children with epilepsy is varied worldwide and significantly contributes to poor outcomes. In Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) specific challenges exist. This session will explore the challenges associated with access to care for children in LMICs, report on the current research trends in children with epilepsy in LMICs and describe the challenges to research in children with epilepsy in LMICs with an exploration regarding how this narrative can be changed. This session is provided at no charge, places are limited to 45 attendees and the forum will include open presentations allowing attendee-panel interaction. This session targets health care practitioners interested or involved in the care of children with epilepsy in Africa.


IBE Symposium / Training session

Programme tbc