Child Neurology in Nigeria
One of the newest societies of child neurology in the world, the Child Neurology Society of Nigeria has been inaugurated in West Africa. The population of Nigeria was estimated to be 124 million in 2003, which placed it as tenth most populous nation in the world.
It is the most populated country in Africa, with 44% of the population under 15 years of age. Nigeria has 12 medical schools. It has an active Paediatric Association, with its own journal, Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics. In January 2007, the Child Neurology Society of Nigeria (http://cnsnonline.org/index.php) was formed and now has over 20 members, paediatricians trained and interested in child neurology and development.
In January 2009 ICNA was invited by Dr Gabriel Ofovwe, a consultant Child Neurologist at the University of Benin Nigeria, to participate at a symposium at the Annual meeting of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria held at Ilorin, Nigeria from in January 20-23rd 2010. Dr Barbara Laughton and Prof Charles Newton accept the invitation on behalf of ICNA to present at the symposium and attend the Paediatric Association of Nigeria.
The symposium consisted of 4 lectures and much discussion: Dr Ofovwe reported the prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder was 8% in Nigeria, but this was probably an underestimate, and this disorder needs to be recognised more in Africa. Prof Newton gave an overview of infections of the central nervous system as a cause or neurological morbidity in Africa, followed by a more detailed talk on cerebral malaria by Dr Lesi. Dr Laughton gave an excellent talk on the neurological complications of HIV which precipitated much discussion and questions.
After the meeting there were two further sessions on child neurology which included presentations on stroke in sickle cell disease, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and even a case report of Krabbe’s disease, a challenging diagnosis to make in most parts of Africa. In other sections of the conference, there were presentations on tetanus (both neonatal and older children), meningitis, case reports of encephalopathy and other conditions associated with neurological conditions.
The Child Neurology Society of Nigeria is currently guided by Dr Ofovwe (President), Dr. Edward Alikor (Secretary) and Dr. Ngozi Ojinaka (treasurer). The members are keen to explore opportunities for training, particularly in electroencephalography, and the management of cerebral palsy and epilepsy. They would like to interact with other clinicians interested in child neurology, particularly in Africa, but also other countries of the world.
Charles R Newton