EPILEPSY is a neurological disorder that results in electrical discharges in the brain hence the seizure attacks. It is estimated that over 65 million people around the world live with epilepsy, and Ghana is no exception due to many myths that the citizens hold concerning the disorder. Some of such myths are:
EPILEPSY is caused by witchcraft, juju and curses hence the doing of the victims.
Some even still hold the misconception that epilepsy is contagious and can be contracted with contacts with the victims. For such myths they resort to prayer camps where the conditions get deteriorated because they ignorantly believe these fake monetary conscious prophets who are ready to draining unsuspecting victims of their MONIES.
The aforementioned misconceptions are those Mental Health Practitioners have been battling with across the country over the time despite very less logistics at their disposal to undertake vigorous and continuous health education in the country , especially in hard to reach rural areas.
Fact: EPILEPSY is not caused by juju, curses,or witchcraft, also, epilepsy cannot be contracted when come in contact with the people living with epilepsy.
People living with epilepsy can live normal lives just like anyone, especially when on treatment. There is no need to worry about you living with the condition ,or a family member experiencing the seizures, seek early treatment and control the complications that comes with it when not put on treatment.
Each year, more than 1 in 1,000 people with epilepsy die from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, known as SUDEP.
8 out of 10 people with epilepsy in developing countries do not receive appropriate treatment, and we must be concerned about that as a country.
EPILEPSY is caused by various factors such as genetic, poorly or untreated severe malaria in children over the time, infections at childhood, poor nutrition in children as in poverty, accidents involving the head as in injuries etc.
With the above little explanations, it is my belief that those of you who are fond of holding such misconceptions will stop the stigma and rather advocate for treatment for the victims and call on government to resource the Mental Health Authority with logistics so we reduce the occurence.
As the world celebrates the EPILEPSY DAY, let us show love to people we know are living with the condition, they are normal and can function well. They have great intelligence and some can be cured when adhere to treatment plans.
Join the campaign to stop the Stigma and Show love to those living with EPILEPSY.
Bismark Kwabla Kpobi
Senior Registered Mental Nurse.
Mental Health Advocate.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana