The Gbm Foundation (of which I am the Country Director) seeks to step up its efforts to bring epilepsy out of the shadows. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions with approximately 70 million people affected worldwide. The prevalence of epilepsy is highest in sub – Saharan African countries ranging from 2.2 to 58 per 1000. Epilepsy is one of the least understood chronic medical conditions. False attribution of seizures to supernatural causes, beliefs in certain cultures that patient’s body fluids during convulsive seizures are contagious, and lack of knowledge about proper seizure first aid has led with bystanders to be reluctant to help patients living with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is associated with a lot of discrimination imposed by other people which together with other impediments related to the underlying brain disorder as cognitive impairment make people living with epilepsy to be less likely to be sent to school, find employment and marry. Children with epilepsy are at increased risk of educational underachievement, learning difficulties, mental health problems, social isolation, and poor self-esteem. Teacher’s knowledge and attitudes toward epilepsy can have significant impact on these difficulties including student’s performance, social skill development, and future employment.
Improving epilepsy awareness and knowledge among school staff helps in creating a supportive learning environment for pupil/students with epilepsy, through effective seizure management, and control of discrimination. A school teacher or staff who knows how to respond to seizures will both improve safety in school and influence the reactions of other pupil/students. In certain cases, teachers may even be the first to notice the symptoms of seizures in a student. Teachers who are knowledgeable about epilepsy will understand and encourage pupil/students and thus facilitate learning and self – esteem thereby playing a vital role in the physical, social and academic well – being of pupil/students with epilepsy.
This handbook is designed to educate school staff about epilepsy, improve their ability to manage seizures in pupil/students and facilitate practices that will create an optimal learning environment for pupil/students living with epilepsy. It contains general information about epilepsy, basic seizure first aid, and advice on the daily interactions with the student with epilepsy.
The Foundation firmly believes that, it is its imperative to make available these handbooks of epilepsy for school teachers, as such an initiative will be a great tool to fight against the stigma, rejection and abuse of persons living with epilepsy and promote inclusive education in favor of young persons living with epilepsy. This project will definitely go a long way bring awareness to the plight of those living with and or affected by the condition, and our hope is that it contributes to the research directly needed in this domain as well as affect policy change in favour of persons living with the illness, their families and their integration into the community.
Kindly Get Involved
Gbm as a civil society organization actively involved in the fight against the stigmatization of persons living with and/or affected with epilepsy, is happy to carry out such a noble project in furtherance of its goals. We rely on donations from our partners and persons of good will and call on all to support our various projects. We are currently looking for funders to enable us publish and print 3000 more of these handbooks to add to the 1000 already published and printed. No donation is too little… a single handbook funded could serve an entire school: Thank you…
P.S: My late brother was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 11 and with Bipolar Disorder a decade or so later… this Foundation is so close to my heart… I’ll be launching another Go Fund me Campaign eventually and even the smallest $ will be valued to my core