Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa)


Background and introduction: Low and middle-income countries (LMIC) have a considerable burden of neurological disorders. Available profile of neurological disorders in our environment is biased towards neurological admissions. There is a paucity of data on out-patient neurological conditions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Objective: To determine the frequency and demographic data of neurological illnesses being managed at the adult out-patient neurology clinic of the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam (AKHD).

Materials and methods: The electronic medical records of all cases with neurological diseases who presented to the adult neurology clinic of the AKHD between January 2018, and December 2019 were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. Neurological disorders are categorized according to the international classification of diseases version-11(ICD-11).

Results: Of the 1186 patients seen in a period of 2 years, there were 597 (50.4%) females and 588(49.6%) males, with median age (IQR) of 38 (30.0–52.0) and 42 (33.0–54.5) years respectively (p = 0.001). Headache disorders (27.0%); disorders of the nerve root, plexus or peripheral nerves (23.4%); epilepsy (9.3%), cerebrovascular disorders (8.9%); movement disorders (3.6%) and disorders of cognition (3.5%) were the primary neurological conditions encountered. Musculoskeletal disorders (7.5%) and mental/behavioral disorders (5.4%) were other conditions seen in the clinic.

Conclusion: The pattern of neurological disorders in this cohort mirrors that of high-income countries. However, the manpower to tackle these conditions pales in comparison. Increasing the neurology workforce and paying extra attention to non-communicable disorders in SSA is advocated.

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