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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Zambians urged to stop stigmatising people with epilepsy

22 March, 2006

Leaders of a
international campaign to improve acceptability and treatment of
epilepsy have urged people in Zambia to stop stigmatising people with
epilepsy.

The national co-ordinator of the Global Campaign Against Epilepsy
(GCAE), Anthony Zimba, told a meeting in Kabwe that the general public
had misconceptions about the disease and its causes which caused people
not to bring people to the hospitals for treatment. He said people
living with epilepsy had been highly stigmatised and that the situation
has led to some of them losing jobs and marriages.

He said:

"The
medicines for epilepsy are there in hospitals, it's just that people
tend to think that epilepsy is an African disease that can be cured by
African traditional medicines."

He added that there were a lot of myths surrounding the condition, such as demon possession.

Mr
Zimba stressed that people with epilepsy should seek medical attention
from hospitals so that they can get treatment which is readily
available. He also appealed to the government to fund the fight against
epilepsy so that the issue can be addressed.