Dear World, we at the Gbm Foundation seize the opportunity of this first post in 2016, to wish us all a more engaging new year.
The Foundation turned 1 in September 2015, and when we look back, we are proud of our activities. It wasn’t easy especially with very meagre resources coming more often than not from our own pockets and those of well-wishers.
An engaging Year indeed
From the launch of the Gbm Centre for epilepsy and mental wellbeing doubled with the launch of the memoir of Gabriel’s life entitled My Brother’s Journey From Genius to Simpleton; up to the organization of the first solidarity walk for epilepsy awareness last October, the Foundation has worked hard to fufill its objectives one step at a time.
To wrap up our activities in 2015, the Programme Director honoured an invitation to the 11th PanAfrican Meeting on Medical Laboratory Science held in the Yaounde Congress Hall Cameroon. She was invited to do a presentation on the the role of laboratories in the diagnosis, treatment and follow up of persons living with epilepsy.
Some Highlights of her Presentation
The need for proper diagnosis
- Epilepsy being “A disease characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by the neurobiological, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition; there is absolute need for proper diagnosis of this illness;
- Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder and a serious challenge to modern medical research;
- Not all seizures are epileptic, diagnosis based on symptoms can be misleading;
- Normal EEG readings & lack of response to anti-epileptic drugs could point to non-epileptic seizures but un-conclusive requiring laboratory tests to complete diagnosis;
- Proper diagnosis is indispensable for appropriate treatment to be recommended.
Commonly required laboratory tests
- Prior to prescription of anti – convulsant Complete Blood Count (CBC) required to establish baseline and identify infections, allergies and any other abnormalities;
- To monitor treatment the chemistry panel test is regularly performed to identify: Imbalance of sodium, potassium or blood sugar levels; Proper functioning of kidneys and liver; The result may lead to modification of medication (change of medication or dosage)
She concluded her presentation by calling on stakeholders involved to step up the fight against the stigma and suffering of this largely marginalized and vulnerable members of our society, in a country which according to a recent Lancet Neurology report holds the world record of the largest rate of prevalence of the disease.
It is on that note that we at Gbm called it a year, honoured with a visit from the Director of the Foundation coming in all the way from the US.
We are currently working on our strategic plan for this year 2016, while exploring avenues for further partnerships and activities to help bring Epilepsy out of the Shadows.