60,000 suffer epilepsy says Professor Lisk
The founder and brain behind the Epilepsy Project in Sierra Leone, Professor Dorodami Radcliffe Lisk, has informed that about 60,000 people in Sierra Leone are suffering from various types of Epilepsy.
He relayed information at the Council of Churches office in Freetown on August 18th 2015 during a sensitization workshop that attracted several Epilepsy patients, traditional healers, school pupils, medical practitioners, religious leaders and other participants from various works of life.
Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Lisk described Epilepsy as a medical condition and not a demonic affliction or witchcraft, explaining that the attack occurs when messages get jumbled in the brain due to sudden changes in electrical activities within the brain cells which often results in temporary change of a person’s sensation movement, awareness or behavior. He noted that not every Epilepsy attack causes the patient to fall.
He further explained that people with Epilepsy usually go unconscious whenever the attack comes. Adding, it affects both young and old people and he therefore discouraged discrimination against victims of the disease.
He furthered that the global aim is to reduce treatment gap in Africa, reduce social and physical burden, educate health personnel, dispel stigma and support prevention.
The National Coordinator, Sierra Leone Epilepsy Association, Max Bangura, observed that many Epilepsy patients go to traditional healers for treatment, causing the disease to persist. The disease, he went on, has not only led to discrimination of patients, but also broken marriages and dropped pupils out of school.
He stated that the disease is not contagious and can be controlled with medication. The Coordinator encouraged children with Epilepsy to continue their schooling, warning all epileptic patients to avoid fire and high places and refrain from risky activities like swimming. He called on all Epilepsy patients to be going to hospitals for early treatment.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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