I never knew a woman living with epilepsy could even think of getting pregnant because of the high risk involved at all the stages of the pregnancy. Imagine a pregnant woman having a seizure during any stage of the pregnancy or while giving birth? Imagine the challenge of accessing medication and staying on them during the pregnancy and the first six months of the baby’s life!
It was with all this in mind that the Gbm Foundation for epilepsy and mental wellbeing in partnership with the Helen Atabongasaba Foundation for women’s empowerment designed the project duped: The Gbm Acess to Treatment Fund. This is a fund where resources are pulled together with the goal of facilitating access to treatment by the most vulnerable of identified persons living with epilepsy.
The first beneficiary of the Fund is the little boy in the picture above whom I fondly call little Gabriel since the one in whose honour the Gbm Foundation was created was also Gabriel. Little Gabriel’s mum lives with epilepsy and he got affected by his mother’s condition to the extent that at age 3, he weighed in very very little, and couldn’t walk at all. He needed a lot of therapy to eat and walk, and his condition attracted the sympathy and empathy of the both the Gbm-em Programme Director and the Board Chairman. The above persons made out of pocket donations to facilitate treatment for both Little Gabriel and his mum, and after a couple of months, hurray he could walk.
It was shortly thereafter that the project to get more involved in maternal and child care development was conceived.
When the Mary Health of Africa Hospital administration contacted the Gbm-em Programme Director with the pathetic case of Cynthia a woman living with epilepsy and having a life threatening pregnancy, the foundation dug deep into its meagre funds to save her life and the baby’s. A few hours after Cynthia went into labour, she brought forth a bouncing baby boy.
Cyntia gratefully named her beloved son after Joseph the husband of the Virgin Mary, after Charles the Gbm Board Chair, and after Atabong the Matriach in whose honour the Helen AtabongAsaba Foundation was created. There are so many ways by which we could each get involved to help save the life of just one person living with or affected by epilepsy; donnot hesitate…