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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Epilepsy charities launch Urdu pack

16 April, 2003

As part of a campaign to improve services to Urdu speaking patients with epilepsy, Epilepsy Action and the National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) have produced a new information pack on epilepsy in Urdu.

Working with the support of the Epilepsy Specialist Nurse Association, the new pack was designed to help professionals overcome language difficulties and discuss the condition with their patients. The pack includes copies of the leaflet 'Epilepsy Explained', audio cassettes recorded in Urdu covering facts about epilepsy, diagnosis, treatment, first aid and overall implications. The information is reproduced in written form in English and Urdu on colour coded reference sheets for health professionals, and leaflets for handout to patients and carers.

Bradford Epilepsy Service carried out some of the initial research for the pack. Consultant neurologist with the Service, Dr Nigel Hakin, said:

"There is no evidence to suggest that epilepsy has different prevalence in different races but the research we carried out showed that, because of language and cultural issues, there seems to be a lower than expected reported prevalence of epilepsy in the Asian community in the UK. The fact that many Asian patients are just unable to communicate with doctors means their diagnosis is being missed. This pack will be a welcome tool to health professionals working in the epilepsy field."

Anita March, an epilepsy specialist nurse at NSE, had a key role in the development of the pack. She added:

"Our initial research established that Urdu was the most widely spoken ethnic language amongst the Asian population in Britain and concluded that the preferred method of presentation was the spoken word in a face-to-face meeting environment. We consequently opted for an information pack designed for use by a health professional and interpreter in conjunction with individual patients and their families. The back-up information tapes allow the patient to take a copy home to listen to in privacy or with their family at their leisure, together with written support information on what has been discussed."

The Urdu packs are available to health professionals at a cost of £15 each (plus postage and packing). To obtain a copy, contact Epilepsy Action on 0808 800 5050 or NSE on 01494 601400.