In a mutual partnership with the GladAfrica Foundation Trust, University of Venda has initiated an epilepsy research project which aims to develop an epilepsy intervention programmes for the rural communities of Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces in order to promote quality of life among people living with epilepsy, their parents and caregivers.
On 12 February 2019, GladAfrica Epilepsy Research Project was launched to hit the ground running. At that time, we had already recruited six students, two PhDs and four Masters students. Not long after the launch, students started with their proposal work and training.
In 2019 alone, students underwent three training including practical field training, because more than achieving the main purpose of the project, it is our aim to equip and empower students in the epilepsy field of research.
The National lockdown brought about a challenge in progress, however, once allowed to travel, the project team managed to achieve the following:
- Attainment of Clearance.
- Promotion and development of students’ proposals.
- Development and testing of data collection tools.
- Facilitated rural communities’ entry and permissions to conduct the study in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces (Limpopo communities: Bochum, Nweli, Malavuwe, Mtititi; Mpumalanga communities: Clara, Jerusalem and Acornhoek)
- We also contracted community health workers (67 CHW) in the above-mentioned communities as data collectors.
- Train community health care workers to collect data.
- Collect quantitative data from these communities already and busy capturing and cleaning data for better analysis.
The project team will be capturing and cleaning the collected data and analyse it. We will also be striving to train community health care workers for data collection in Kwaggasfontein (Mpumalanga province) and Modjadjiskolf (Limpopo province), while in the same breath, we will continue to collect qualitative data (interviews and focus group discussions) in all rural communities.
After which, analysis will be made and programmes will be developed, validated and applied in various communities. What’s more, after the completion of the project, we are aiming to start up epilepsy centres in different communities which will serve as an educational and epilepsy assistance centres.
It is with great pleasure to also commend the selected communities for their warm welcome and cooperation in all aspects of this project.
Epilepsy Research Project
The GladAfrica Foundation is pleased to announce its new community development undertaking, the Epilepsy Research Project. In line with its mandate of uplifting communities through socially meaningful projects, the GladAfrica Foundation and the University of Venda will formally enter into a partnership to research about epilepsy in rural communities of Limpopo and Mpumalanga.