BackgroundNeurological conditions and mental health problems are common in children in low- and middle-income countries, but the risk factors and downstream impact of these problems on children with neurological conditions are not reported.ObjectiveTo determine the association of neurological conditions with behavioural and emotional problems in children, the prevalence and risk factors of behavioural and emotional problems, and long-term impact of these conditions.MethodsData on multiple neurological conditions and mental health problems were available for 1,616 children (aged 6-9 years) from Kilifi, Kenya. Neurological conditions were diagnosed using standardised tools and clinical examination. Behavioural and emotional problems assessed using Child Behaviour Questionnaire for Parents. Long-term outcomes were obtained from census data of the Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System. Logistic and linear regression were used to measure associations.ResultsMental health problems were higher in those with any neurological condition compared to those without (24% vs. 12%, p ConclusionsNeurological conditions in school-aged children in Kilifi are associated with mental health problems, and both disorders have long-term consequences. Preventive and therapeutic measures for these conditions are needed to improve outcomes of these children.
Global health action
Clinical Research-Neurosciences Department, KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast (Cgmrc), Kilifi, Kenya.