From May 5th – 7th 2017 the Gbm-em Country Director Ms. Marie A. Abanga participated at the 3rd African Epilepsy Congress held in Dakar – Senegal hosted by the renowned Cheikh Anta Diop University. Jointly organized by the ILAE – a league for the scientific study and research into epilepsy, and the IBE – the bureau championing the socio-cultural aspects of epilepsy, together the two highest international organizations on epilepsy; the conference was a blend between the scientific and the socio-cultural aspects of this neurological brain disorder plaguing over 40 million of the world’s population. The congress had as objective to bring together stakeholders from all over the African continent and the world at large to analyse the state of epilepsy on the African continent and define globally acceptable strategies to understand, diagnose and combat the illness.
The Congress proper kicked off with a teaching course on proper epilepsy diagnosis and treatment with antiepileptic drugs, before moving on to a main session on the regional challenges in managing epilepsy. Other highlights of the Congress included a colourful opening ceremony and poster presentations of selected abstracts.
Ms Abanga who was so honoured to have gotten a bursary to attend this very important congress, did a remarkable presentation on the foundation’s activities in Cameroon and indicated that in their context the most affected of all persons living with epilepsy lived in the rural communities. She presented some research statistics on the state of epilepsy in Cameroon and the commendable efforts by the foundation in research, sensitization of populations about epilepsy and their fight against the stigmatization of people suffering from and or affected by epilepsy.
Different papers, were presented by distinguished professors, neurologists, medical practitioner, scholars and social scientists on various and diverse topics. It is worth noting that from the various presentations, Africa has the highest rate of prevalence of epilepsy with high concentrations in countries like Cameroon, Senegal and Benin. Risk factors of epilepsy were elaborated upon by a high panel of scientists and the practical aspects of a good epilepsy diagnosis all made up the scientific presentations at the conference.Various socio-cultural papers were also presented ranging from educational challenges in epilepsy to an IBE round-table symposium on patients and families, tradition, modern medicine in the era of globalization.
Having been identified as a dynamic participant at the Congress, alongside her innovative abstract submitted, Miss. Abanga, was invited to the IBE side discussions between the executive and the various chapter presidents. In a nutshell, the Congress was a success, as she remarks “I did a lot of networking, and knowledge sharing. I look forward to building on these contacts and ideas to further the work of the foundation”.
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The Gbm-em Foundation is a civil society organization actively involved in the fight against the stigmatization of persons living with and/or affected with epilepsy and mental health problems, and was very honoured to have participated at the 3rd African Epilepsy Congress in Dakar-Senegal. We were glad to have contributed in the learning and sharing of resourceful information for a better mental health for all. We rely on donations from our partners and persons of good will for our various projects and we call on all to support our various projects. Kindly Get involved.