Hello World, no one sensitization campaign can ever be too many to inform the population about health issues above all. This is so logical if we all admit that health is wealth, and good health correlates with good wealth.
In line therefore with both the Gbm-em Foundation’s vision, and the theme of the 2nd World Brain Day which was Epilepsy, our Programme Director has initated and participated in 4 sensitization campaigns recently to raise awareness on this higly stigmatized condition.
Round Table Conference at the CBS Radio in Buea South West Region
On the 1st of August, the Gbm Foundation’s Program Director, joined four other panelist and two journalist of a renowned Presbitarian radio station in Buea the headquarters of the South West Region, to continue debates on the complex condition which is Epilepsy. The Panelists were drawn from different stakeholder groups and thus the round table included:
- The Regional Delegate of Social Affairs for the South West
- The lead Specialist in Internal Medicine and Neurology of the Region
- A Pastor of the Presbytarian Church
- A person living with Epilepsy
This conference like the preceeding three already organized, followed an intergrated approach so that different perspectives could be brought to the table, and feedback gathered.
Feedback from the Round Table Conference
Epilepsy and mental well being go hand in hand, because the stigma and poor treatment of epilepsy, more often lead to a psychological deterioration of the patients, hence nervous breakdowns or social withdrawals and mood disorders.
The Pastor was of the opinion that all persons suffering with epilepsy regardless of their Faith and Religious beliefs, were better off going for appropriate medical diagnosis, even if any medical treatments could be combined with a spiritual hope of Healing from Above.
The Regional Delegate for Social Affairs on his part urged listeners not to shun persons living with epilepsy because contrary to traditional beliefs, they were not responsible for their conditions.
The person living with epilepsy shared his everyday challenges of coping with such a debilitating condition, and yet the hope he had of a better future not only for him but for the entire community.
Mrs Bibiana Taku of the Gbm Foundation Programme Director who is equally the mother of late Gabriel Bebonbechem, shared her ordeal of single handedly raising her only brilliant son and watching him battle with epilepsy and eventually a mental break down. She equally shared the efforts already deployed by the Foundation created in his honour, to bring hope to the target population of the people of Lebialem where a few medical missions have been carried out so far.
This important and acclaimend Conference, was moderated by two seasoned journalist and lasted a good hour.
Spreading a message of Hope
The Gbm Foundation wants to join several other organization in the fight against Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing because there is Hope.
Even in far away Pakistan, to mark World Brain Day, the Aga Khan University Hospital conducted an awareness session on epilepsy. Speakers stressed the need to spread hope and awareness for epilepsy as the condition is curable in 70 per cent of cases.“Expenses along with the availability of medicines remain a problem as medicines are of a specialised nature and are not available easily,” said Neurologist Dr Bashir Soomro. Nevertheless, it must be stressed that there is hope because there are alternative treatments which could be combined with medical treatments too.