Press Releases King Baudouin Foundation: Epilepsy: not a curse but a treatable disease

King Baudouin Foundation: Epilepsy: not a curse but a treatable disease

On International Epilepsy Day, the second Monday in February, we are asked to think about this brain disease that can make life so difficult for the people who suffer from it.

We would like to take this opportunity to focus our attention on Africa, where people with epilepsy not only have to deal with physical disability, but are stigmatised as well. This is because epilepsy is not sufficiently well understood – even among doctors – and is often seen as being due to a curse or poisoning.

The UCB Sociatal Responsibility Fund has been working for many years in a number of countries in Africa, making a vital contribution towards improving knowledge and skills so that epilepsy can be diagnosed and treated correctly. These efforts range from providing training for neurologists and health care workers, to supporting front line consultations and raising awareness among traditional healers.

This story looks specifically at how this has been and is done in Rwanda. It is a story about making an impact by working together: the company fund has made a major contribution towards increasing the number of neurologists in Rwanda to a more acceptable level – when it started there was one neurologist in the country. This has been possible thanks to collaboration with universities in Belgium (Ghent) and Africa (Dakar, Senegal). The Rwandan government recognises the Fund as a full partner in development of a policy strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy

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