Epilepsy is a treatable disease by electrical disturbances in neurons.
Also, this disease is not ‘considered’ as a disease, Often it is attributed to superstitions of jinns, ghosts, witchcraft, sorcery or devils, While not magic or demons, epilepsy is a treatable disease.
The fact is that epilepsy is a completely treatable brain disease. Epilepsy is caused by electrical disturbances in the brain’s cells, the neurons.
About 2.4 million people are suffering from epilepsy in Pakistan.
Consider the misfortune of this disease or the lack of awareness of our society that this mental disorder is still considered to be more than just a disease.
Epilepsy is the most important and common disease among mental diseases.
According to a conservative estimate, around 50 million people worldwide are suffering from this mental disorder.
International Epilepsy Day is celebrated on the second Monday of February every year to spread awareness about this disease.
Also, this disease is not ‘considered’ as a disease. Often it is attributed to ghosts, witchcraft, sorcery or superstitions of the devil. The fact is that epilepsy is a completely treatable brain disease.
Epilepsy is caused by electrical disturbances within the brain’s cells, i.e. neurons. In the cells of the part of the brain where this electrical disturbance occurs.
In reference to the same part of the brain, the patient shows symptoms.
Epilepsy is more common in children. According to a careful estimate, 14.6 children out of every thousand are suffering from epilepsy in Pakistan, but due to lack of accurate and timely diagnosis, they cannot be properly treated.
The majority of our society consists of women. In the majority, this disease is neither diagnosed correctly and in time, nor do they know the correct use of medicines.
According to conservative estimates, the proportion of epilepsy in rural population is higher than in urban population.
Immediate Medical Attention:
Epilepsy is a brain seizure in which seizures or convulsions occur due to chemical changes and electrical disturbances in brain cells.
As a result of this seizure, the cells in the brain are stimulated, and in this context, the effects on the body are also created.
Causes of cerebral palsy may include an injury or birth or pregnancy, or it may be caused by a disease in childhood that affects the brain.
As a result of an epileptic seizure, the patient usually falls, stiffens the body, grinds the teeth, sometimes faints and foams at the mouth.
During this seizure, the patient may also be injured, the general duration of these symptoms is from seconds to a minute or two.
And if a patient has these symptoms for more than five minutes, he should be immediately referred to the hospital’s emergency unit (accident department) should be transferred.
Causes of Epilepsy:
There are more or less 150 types of epilepsy. There is also a type of epilepsy in children, especially in adults, in which none of the above symptoms of epilepsy appear.
For just a few seconds the patient becomes completely detached from the surrounding environment or so called ‘lost’.
Apart from this, seizures or convulsions are not necessarily due to epilepsy alone, but there are many other causes, including low blood sugar, salt deficiency, low calcium levels, brain tumors, brain tumors. Infections such as tuberculosis of the brain and malaria, cerebral palsy, head injury etc.
Therefore, a neurologist should be consulted for a timely and accurate diagnosis of this disease.
If you see an epileptic patient having convulsions, first of all, lay him on his stomach so that nothing enters the respiratory tract.
If the patient is wearing tight clothing, loosen the clothing by unbuttoning etc.
Do not put anything in the patient’s mouth or squeeze it. If the convulsions last more than five minutes, immediately transport the ambulance blocker patient to the hospital as soon as possible.
Due to the lack of awareness, timely diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy in Pakistan, there are many fears among the common man about the ‘treatability’ of this disease.
The number of people affected by epilepsy is high in rural areas of Pakistan.
According to careful statistics, 27.5% of urban patients and only 2.9% of patients in rural areas receive regular treatment for epilepsy.
There is a dire need to create awareness in our society regarding the curable nature of this disease.
Epilepsy is curable and all provincial and central health ministries should play their role in this campaign to provide treatment and especially medicines to the patients of this disease.
There is only one neurologist available for more or less 50 thousand epilepsy patients in the urban population of our country, which makes the treatment of epilepsy more difficult.
Perceptions of Epilepsy in Pakistan:
Remember that epilepsy is not a contagious disease, nor is epilepsy caused by magic, sorcery, jinn or any other influence.
Epilepsy is not considered a disease in Pakistan and many people consider it as the shadow of giants or demons and instead of treating the patient medically, they start resorting to various operations and other spiritual and religious practices damage occurs.
Due to continuous epileptic seizures, the brain of the patient is severely affected. In just a few seconds of epileptic seizure, millions of brain cells die.
According to an estimate, if a patient has a seizure/seizure for half an hour, about 25% of his brain becomes useless.
There is also a perception that epilepsy patients are neither fit to marry nor become fathers or mothers.
These are completely wrong concepts due to which epilepsy patients do not get a chance to live a full life like normal people.
Young women with epilepsy are not married because they are considered stigmatized and children with epilepsy are withdrawn from school, leading to social isolation and depression/anxiety.
The fact is that epilepsy is a completely curable disease and 70% of its patients can be treated with complete recovery.
Awareness, Treatment and Prevention:
Epilepsy has been comprehensively researched all over the world and all neurologists have declared this disease treatable.
Therefore, it is our responsibility to raise awareness in this regard so that a healthy society can be created.
Once the awareness is created, some measures should be taken which can control the rate of the disease, prevent the spread of the disease and treat those who have the disease.
Expensive medicines cause delay in treatment and additional financial burden for the affected patient, so the government also needs to plan for easy access and subsidization of drugs.
Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation (NARF), Pakistan, is committed to promoting awareness and supporting new research on epilepsy and other brain, mental and neurological diseases to the public.
Norf has taken continuous awareness initiatives on a large scale regarding Epilepsy.
Informative videos for patients in different languages, literature as well as emergency medical care charts for doctors have been developed and made available in neurology departments across the country.
In addition, diaries are provided to patients to record seizures or tremors on a monthly basis.
Read also this: 15 Ways to Avoid the Paralysis