We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Call to stop stigma against Zambians with epilepsy

4 March, 2004

The Epilepsy Association
of Zambia (EAZ) has called for the end of the "marginalisation" of
people with epilepsy in the country, according to a report in The
Times of Zambia
.

EAZ's chairman Anthony
Zimba told a meeting in Ndola that hospitals throughout the country
treated cases of epilepsy as mental cases and that
most of these patients were wrongly admitted to psychiatric wards. As
a result, he said, people with epilepsy shunned going to hospital to
seek treatment for fear of victimisation.

Mr Zimba said:

"It is wrongly perceived
that psychiatrists treat epilepsy patients. This is a cancer we have
in Zambia and should be stopped."

The provincial director
of health for the Copperbelt region, Peter Mijere, commended the EAZ
for taking up the challenge of spearheading campaigns
against epilepsy in the country. He said
it was unfortunate that epilepsy was one of the diseases that had not
been fully understood by society despite being an old disease and that
in line with health reforms, the ministry was confident that tremendous
improvement would be achieved if the care of people with epilepsy became
an integral part of the basic health care package.