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The epileptic can lead normal lives, says specialist

Assistant Director for Clinical Services, Murang’a County P.K Mwangi, has assured that with the right diagnosis and treatment, epileptic people can lead normal lives.

He observes that the county health department is making strides in eliminating the stigma and myths surrounding epileptic people by educating community health volunteers (CHV’s) on how to help when someone suffers an epileptic episode.

“Our Community Health Volunteers have households under their jurisdiction and would easily know a home that has someone who is epileptic and will help us give them treatment and care for a normal life,” he said.

“We therefore are equipping them with basic first aid skills as they will be able to advise the affected families and direct them to rush the patient to a health facility for treatment, management and necessary follow up,” Mwangi adds.

“Let us stop the stigma, an epileptic child can go to school and perform well. An epileptic adult can get married and even have children like any other person,” he further stresses.

He explains that public misunderstanding and treatment of people with epilepsy is often a bigger problem than the actual seizures.

At the same time, Fredrick Beuchi a specialist on matters epilepsy has called on the county governments to ensure the hospitals are well equipped with drugs to manage epilepsy as it is a huge burden to the affected families.

Beuchi also urges parents with epileptic children not to hide them but to come out and seek assistance.

“Epilepsy is not a communicable disease, so do not feel ashamed and hide the children because they too can lead normal lives with the correct diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of awareness.

Epilepsy is recorded as the fourth most common neurological disorder in the world though it has no identifiable cause in half the people with it but in others it may be traced to factors like genetic influence, head trauma, brain abnormalities, infections, prenatal injuries and developmental disorders such as autism.

By Florence Kinyua

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