The Practice of Sleep Medicine Around The World: Challenges, Knowledge Gaps and Unique Needs

Practice of Sleep Medicine in Zambia

Author(s): Kondwelani John Mateyo *

Pp: 277-284 (8)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815049367123010023

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Zambia, a southern African country with a resource-strained healthcare system that for the past three decades has been tailored to fight the HIV pandemic, is grappling with an increasing non-communicable disease burden. The practice of sleep medicine in Zambia, with sleep disorders being a cause of some of the cardiovascular and motor-vehicle-related morbidity and mortality, has long lagged behind the significant HIV-related disease burden. Sleep disorders in Zambia have therefore remained under-researched, and unquantified and thus are not considered a significant clinical problem.

Against a background of scarce specialized sleep practitioners, the absence of a specific regulatory framework for the practice of sleep medicine, and the absolute lack of equipped sleep centers, the diagnosis of sleep disorders is based on the use of validated clinical risk questionnaires. The availability of treatment devices in the country is also scarce. Further, population-wide and practitioner knowledge-gaps have exacerbated the stagnation of the practice of sleep medicine and research. These deficiencies however present an opportunity to finally harness the practice of sleep medicine and the conduct of sleep-related research, and make them a priority.

Keywords: Sleep disorders, Sleep medicine, Sleep research, Zambia.

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