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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Zambian government "not supporting people with epilepsy"

21 July, 2005

The Zambian government are not supporting people with epilepsy, according to the chairman of the country's epilepsy association.

Quoted in the Lusaka Post, Anthony Zimba, speaking at a recent conference, compared the government's attitudes to epilepsy and AIDS:

"The
sad thing is that our programme is receiving little attention from the
government. Our politicians need to be involved in the fight against
epilepsy to reduce stigma. It's rare to hear that epilepsy is mentioned
by our leaders but they discuss AIDS even at parties."

However,
the government's deputy health minister Kapembwa Simbao said that the
lack of support for people with epilepsy in the country was due to
financial constraints and was not deliberate. He added there was a
tendency by Africans to concentrate more on AIDS when, in fact, more
people were dying from other diseases like malaria.

Health
minister Dr Brian Chituwo, in a speech read to the meeting, said the
community should learn more about the responsibilities they have
regarding people with epilepsy.