According to senior consultant of the programme, Li Shizhuo, there is still a lot of discrimination in China towards people with epilepsy. This is largely due to a lack of understanding of the condition. This lack of knowledge can lead to inadequate care, suggest experts. The new project will aim to provide health education and training for paediatric neurologists throughout 10 children's hospitals. It is being led by Project Hope, a public service project and biopharmaceutical company UCB.
Shizhuo said: “Patients with epilepsy deserve the same quality of care and respect as any other patient. In China, there is a lack of understanding about the disease and how to manage it. Epilepsy is a public health and social problem.”
The project aims to tackle the social stigma by raising awareness. It will develop written materials for both children and their families, medical specialists and the public. This will allow a deeper understanding of the condition and, importantly, emergency care for epilepsy patients.
“We believe that [this] will improve the lives of children with epilepsy and their families” said Stuart Meyes, senior vice-president of Project Hope.
There are over 10 million people with epilepsy in China.