Posted in Epilepsy Advocacy, Marie's Garden, Mental Health Advocacy

The Gbm Foundation Produces A Teacher’s Handbook of Epilepsy for Schools


handbook-for-teachers-of-epilepsy

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

Let's be the Hope for each other
Let’s be the Hope for each other

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

back-cover-teachers-handbook-of-epilepsy

Posted in Epilepsy Advocacy, Epilepsy Solidarity Walk in Cameroon, Marie's Garden, Media Gallery

Sights from a Succesful Solidarity Walk


Arriving at dusk for set up
Arriving at dusk for set up
Warm up before the walk takes off and while waiting for others to arrive
Warm up before the walk takes off and while waiting for others to arrive
The dynamic wife of the Senior Divisional Officer for Wouri led the walk
The dynamic wife of the Senior Divisional Officer for Wouri led the walk
A delighted Participant
A delighted Participant
Warming Down after the walk
Warming Down after the walk
Country and Programme Directors
Country and Programme Directors
My special friend Bea
My special friend Bea
Posted in Epilepsy Advocacy, Epilepsy Solidarity Walk in Cameroon

On your marks, ready, Walk… to bring epilepsy out of the Shadows


image

Wow, wow, wow – barely 3 days and my brother’s name is high over there on the banner for all to see. No he didn’t die in vain. No my pain was not in vain. And oh yes the gain is worth the lane no matter how winding.

Those banners worth thousands of messages

Sortons L'Epilepsie de L'ombre
Sortons L’Epilepsie de L’ombre

We at the Gbm-em Foundation have done all in our might and conscious of our plight, to get ready. We are going to walk with our sympathizers purple high.

On Friday already, there will be a one hour program over the CRTV radio, about this maiden and first of its kind solidarity walk for an illness still ‘near taboo’. A pity the world statistics didn’t spare out our ignorance, in fishing out our infamous record. No 1 in prevalence of epilepsy worldwide… Oh cry my beloved country Cameroon!

A big Thank You for your generous donations in cash, kind and goodwill

Isn’t that awesome? Yes we can, Yes we are doing it, Yes will keep walking and marching on in the fight to bring epilepsy out of the shadows.

Posted in Epilepsy Advocacy, Epilepsy Solidarity Walk in Cameroon, Mental Health Advocacy

Gbm-em Banner Flying – last Call b4 DDay…


image

Oh my, what fulfillment to see this! Happened like in a blitz when I thought all was almost stalled due to Administrative procedures.

There are two of these, both sides printed on, in both official languages of Cameroon. All is almost set and done for the big first of its kind walk on such a taboo condition. And yet, epilepsy is not contagious, it’s not deadly but how many know any of this?

So many people in this my country alone, suffer or know someone who does. I mean we hold the ‘infamous and uncourted world record’. Something definitely needs to be done, someone needs to start a mass awakening, and our Foundation in memory of a dear one who lived, battled and died not only with epilepsy but with mental disorders, is doing just that.

Kudos to us all at the Gbm team (you’ll chuckle at how many we are ). At least, I got 3 awesome donors and several shares on mygofund me maiden initiative: )

Last call therefore before I close this campaign. Will you answer the call if not yet?  🙂

image
There is no shame in asking for help right?

Last call to donate for a noble cause and campaigner

Posted in Epilepsy Advocacy, Epilepsy Solidarity Walk in Cameroon

A Gbm Solidarity Walk to bring Epilepsy out of the Shadows


Join us as we walk to bring epilepsy out of the shadows

Join us Let’s Walk to Bring Epilepsy out of the Shadows:

The Gbm-em Foundation is organizing it’s maiden Solidarity Walk on the 31st of October 2015 under the theme: Let’s Bring Epilepsy out of the Shadows. The Walk is organized under the Patronnage of the Senior Divisional Officer for Wouri Mr. Paul BEA NASERI. The organization of this walk couldn’t have been better timed, given that it comes up on the eve of the month of Novemeber recognized by the International Medical Community as the Epilepsy Awareness Month.

The Gbm Solidarity Walk is our way of launching the Epilepsy Awareness Month

According to a recent article by the Lancet Neurology, Cameroon ranks top position among the countries with the highest rate of epilepsy. This is not only alarming, but a thunderbolt call for action to all stakeholders involved so that this neurological disorder is brought out of the shadows. *

And yet, these are some basic facts and resources on epilepsy, which however still have a hard time being appreciated by a society already hardcored towards the mariginalization, stigmatization and even outright rejection of persons living with epilepsy.

The Gbm-em Foundation posits the following:

Epilepsy is a brain disorder largely neglected partly due to ignorance, false beliefs, myths and limited resources. It is therefore in this context, that the Gbm Foundation for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing is organizing its first maiden solidarity walk.

The aim of the walk: To carry out awareness and sensitization about epilepsy, knowledge share of seizure management,as well as dispel false beliefs and advocate against the stigmatization of persons living with epilepsy.

We are all invited

We at the Gbm-em Foundation are hereby sending out an open invitation to the general public in and around the Douala Metropolitan city of the Litorral Region of Cameroon,  to join us on the 31st of October 2015 at 7 am prompt infront of the Central Post Office.Come one come all Let’s walk in all courage and herald the cause to demystify epilepsy in Cameroon.

Registration starts at 5000 frs and all funds collected will go a long way to support the activities of the year old Gbm Foundation. An immediate project the funds will contribute to is the forthcoming phase two of the inclusive education project for young persons living with epilepsy.

The following personalities have equally been invited: The Regional Delegate for Health, The Regional Delegate for Social Affairs, a Renowned Neurologist, and persons living with epilepsy.

There will be discussions at the end of the walk to throw more light on this condition and to highlight the efforts in place by the powers that be to assist persons living with and those affectied by epilepsy. The General Public will also be able to ask questions and get answers to their preoccupations.

Me. Marie Abanga, the Gbm Country Director, clad in Purple during some media advocacy.

With our purple T-Shirts, we are sure not to go un-noticed. Looking forward to seeing many of us on that Day. Kindly visit theGbm website to read more about this and other projects, and equally on ways to get involved to support our work.