Epilepsy is a disorder in the brain which makes a person prone to seizures. There are various types of seizures which manifest differently. One can fall and jerk; others may only stare and fumble with the clothes and smack the lips. Epilepsy can effectively be controlled with Anti-Epileptic Drugs which need to be prescribed by a doctor. When taken appropriately under a doctor’s instructions, the drugs can make one seizure free sometimes permanently but do not achieve a cure as we know it in malaria or other conditions.
Most people with epilepsy can live an active life, work, go out and have a family as long as they take their medication as prescribed, some people need to adjust their lifestyle to avoid triggers of their seizures, such as stress, missed meals, lack of sleep and taking alcohol or illicit drugs
It is estimated that 70 million people live with epilepsy worldwide. Anyone can get the condition regardless of their country, age, social class or religion. In Kenya, available data shows that 2 out of every 100 people live with epilepsy and the majority (approximately 80%) of whom never get to see a doctor even though it’s known that treatment can contribute to improving the quality of life.
People can get epilepsy from brain injuries, brain infections such as cerebral malaria, meningitis and other causes. But in many cases the cause is unknown. Epilepsy is not contagious, is not due to witchcraft or devil possession and is definitely not God’s punishment. People who develop epilepsy are as normal as everyone else.
If you think that you have epilepsy, go to a certified doctor for consultation so that you can be given a diagnosis and prescription. It is important to regularly visit the doctor for proper follow up for your treatment. We advise you not to change your treatment without doctor’s consult when the number of seizures have reduced. You will firstly need to get your doctor’s consent to avoid a recurrence of the seizures.