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05 July 2016

Educational comic book helps to raise awareness of epilepsy in Ethiopia


An educational  comic book is helping Ethiopian high school students understand more about epilepsy.

In Ethiopia, 520 people in every 100,000 have epilepsy.  Despite this, it remains a widely stigmatised condition.  Religious and socio-cultural beliefs influence the nature of treatment and care of people with epilepsy.  In response to this, a comic book called 'We'll make it' has been developed to support positive attitudes towards the condition.


A team of researchers from Ethiopia and France conducted a cross-sectional study among a mixed group of 126 randomly selected students from two secondary schools, one in a city and the other in a rural area.  The researchers asked the students to complete a questionnaire before and after reading the comic book.

Health professionals

Researchers also invited 40 health professionals (neurologists, psychiatrists, GPs and nurses) to assess the relevance of the comic book.  Of these professionals, 90 per cent recommended the comic book as "useful educational material to be distributed among school children."

Study conclusion

The study concludes that the book was "appreciated by the Ethiopian high school students."  Researchers found that students could extract "a great deal of information" from the book, which "could change misconceptions and provide correct information about epilepsy and can be an effective approach to epilepsy awareness creation. " Health professionals recommended the comic's distribution to students, teachers, health workers and religious leaders.


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