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Lack of awareness leaves Bangladeshis with epilepsy untreated

16 March, 2004

A lack of awareness
of epilepsy is helping to leave the 600,000 Bangladeshis with epilepsy
untreated, a leading neurologist told delegates to a doctors'
epilepsy training course in Dhaka.

Nearly 200 doctors
from across the country underwent the training course organised by
Dhaka
West Chapter of Junior Chamber International (JCI)
in collaboration with the ILAE
Commission on Asian and Oceanian Affairs
,
Epilepsy Association of Bangladesh and Neurology Foundation.

Leading epilepsy
experts from India, Japan, Singapore and as well as Bangladesh led
the training sessions which noted that due to lack of
commercial interest because of low prices, drug manufacturers were not
taking interest in producing epilepsy drugs often frustrating the treatment
process in Bangladesh.

Neurologist Professor
AKM Anwarullah told delegates that epilepsy is often a maltreated
disease in Bangladesh due to low level of education and lack of knowledge
among the general public.

National President
of JCI Bangladesh Data Magfur told journalists that superstitions
or a lack of knowledge prompted people with epilepsy in
the rural areas of the country to seek treatment from 'ojha', 'kabiraj'
or other traditional healers instead of doctors.