Research links pork to increase of epilepsy cases in Zambia


A researcher conducted by the University Of Zambia School of Veterinary Medicine has attributed the increase in epilepsy cases in the country to consumption of pork that contains tapeworm.
The Research has also found that humans acquire the adult tapeworm by eating infected undercooked pork meat leading to taeniosis, while pigs acquire the infection by eating hymn graces from an adult pork tapeworm carrier.
Dr. Kabemba Mwape from the University Of Zambia School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Clinical Studies, says there is need to recognize the parasite as an important health problem that needs concerted efforts to fight so that the suffering of people with epilepsy could be abated.
Speaking during the second Research and Science media briefing in Lusaka today, Dr. Mwape has since called for a multi-sectoral approach involving the Ministry of Health, Veterinary and local communities to ensure that they work together in controlling the parasite in pigs and also in humans.
According to the report adult pork tapeworm infection in humans in Zambia is reported to range from 6 to 12 percent while in pigs its about 9 to 34 percent by world standards.
Dr. Mwape notes that this high prevalence of pork tapeworm infections in both pigs and humans shows that there is urgent need to identify the importance of the parasite as a cause of acquired epilepsy in the country.


And UNZA Acting Vice Chancellor Enala Tembo says Research and Science form a control Engine to development and the knowledge economy of many countries like Zambia.
Professor Tembo says it is for this reason that the University of Zambia has created an enabling environment for research activities by coming up with a research and intellectual properties rights policy to ensure that research outputs feed into national development, enhance teaching and curricula development at the University.
She has since advised students to carry out research in the areas of basic science and applied sciences to meet the developmental needs of the country, and the African continent at large.