Dear World, it is with different campaign material like those featured above, that the Gbm-em Foundation has kicked off its second year of existence. The findings of the Lancet Neurology ever present on our minds, we are committed to do all we possibly can to “Bring Epilepsy out of the Shadows”. There is such a wide knowledge gap and various mediums of sensitization and advocacy are needed to reach the maximum number of people.
There is so much wrong perception about epilepsy, so may false facts and beliefs which mislead people and hold sufferers captive either of their own limitation or of those of their carers. It is thus very important that the message be passed across, that not only is epilepsy not contagious, but that it isn’t a secret and it can be treated.
The Gbm-em Foundation in action on the Field
From the 4th to the 6th of February 2016, the Gbm Foundation for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing carried out a second medical mission to Fontem its main project area. Fontem is a locality in the South West Region of Cameroon, and it has one of those high rates of prevalence of Epilepsy in the country. The first medical mission was dubbed ‘Project Inclusive education for young persons living with epiliepsy’, and this second mission is actually a continuation of the same project. The theme of this mission was simply, Epilepsy: Ask Me!!!
The inhabitants of this locality have for the larger part, nurtured false beliefs and ideas about epilepsy due the stark absence of knowledge, the shortage of medical personnel and the low standard of living which prohibit going to the hospital in the first place.
All is not only gloom however, there is some marked success if we go by the turn out of this second medical mission to Fontem. This indicates a shift in perception and more trust in the medical system in place. From the 30 or so patients tested and diagnosed in the first mission last year, the numbers went up to 75 this year.
Unfortunately, the Foundation with her meagre resources can only do so little. Our medical partner on the field, the reputed Mary Health of Africa Hospital in Fontem, on its part has a good track record although the unavailability of appropriate equipments for EEGs, nor any properly trained neurology personnel currently slow down efforts to help such needy and suffering members of the community and their affected families.
The Gbm-em Foundation is so honoured to join the growing list of HIFA supporters, and our membership in the HIFA Forum is opening up avenues to possible future technical and material collaborations. Health care information is very vital and we don’t know it all, neither can we do it all.
We will be publishing our report on this second medical mission in due time, but we want to seize this opportunity to call for donations in both cash and kind so that we can step up our efforts on the field. Kindly do not hesitate to get involved…