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W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards

Vol. 16 No. 3

Working Together to Improve the Lives of People Affected by Epilepsy in Zambia

September 18, 2012


Epilepsy is a neurologic disorder that results in recurrent, unprovoked seizures. The biomedical burden of epilepsy can be substantial, but for many the social consequences may be just as extreme, with epilepsy victims suffering from social abandonment as well as economic and physical vulnerabilities. Since its founding in 2000, the Chikankata Epilepsy Care Team, a collaborative project between Michigan State University and the rural Zambian community of Chikankata, has worked to improve the lives of people with epilepsy. What began as a local nurse–medical student partnership in one small rural Zambian hospital has grown into a program that supports and enriches clinical services and advocacy programs throughout Zambia. Recognizing the imperative for knowledge to influence policy, this university-community partnership works tirelessly to inform key stakeholders and policy makers of its findings. The program received the 2011 Outreach Scholarship/W. K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award for the North Central region.