More than 75 percent of epilepsy patients are below the age of 20. The chairman of the National Epilepsy Coordination Committee Prof Paul Kioyi says the disease has affected more than 1 million Kenyans.
He says the brain disorder is largely misunderstood and patients are stigmatized. “Of late, the focus has shifted to cancer and HIV control with very little done for the epileptic. It is for this reason that epileptic people are left suffering and unattended,” said Kioyi.
He was speaking to the press during the flagging off of a caravan for the creation of awareness on epilepsy on Friday at the Uasin Gishu county hall. Kioyi said the disease is curable and one can lead a normal life. Comfortably just like any other individual. He said that the disease is poorly understood. Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno presided over the event. “Most people believe that an epileptic person gets attacks as a punishment from the ancestors.Most epileptic patients are below the age of 20 years,” kioyi added.
He revealed that over 1000 people will be trained from all the counties to disseminate the right information to the communities to create awareness and the ways of handling epileptic patients. Kioyi said that epilepsy differ according to age, place of injury and the kind of attack. “It is wrong for people to believe that epilepsy can be passed through saliva, breathing or perspiration,” said Prof. Kioyi. Following diverse misconceptions of the disease among different communities the National Epilepsy committee has partnered with Bank of Africa to raise awareness on epilepsy through NECC’S annual campaign dubbed “ANGAZA KIFAFA”.
According to statistics ,Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological disorder in Kenya and the 4th in the World with an estimated 65 million people faced with this condition,80% of these are from developing countries because the capability to identify people with epilepsy and provide cost-effective care is compromised by the wide. spread poverty, illiteracy, inefficient and unevenly distributed health systems, social stigma and misconception surrounding the disease.