Epilepsy Awareness a challenge in a time of the Coronavirus
Today, the Nairobi Women’s Hospital (NWH) joins the rest of the world in making Purple Day, the international day for raising awareness and funds to help people living with epilepsy.
In Kenya it is estimated that there are close to 800,000 people living with epilepsy and despite advances in treatment and affordability in medication many people still suffer from epilepsy mainly as a result of the stigma brought by the lack of awareness on the condition.
This year’sPurple Day has additional challenges due to the Coronavirus global pandemic that is straining the healthcare systems in many countries.
Nevertheless, we acknowledge that people living with epilepsy still need our support.
The Epilepsy Foundation cites that there is no direct evidence that people living with epilepsy have a higher chance of contracting COVID-19 or the severity of the diseases increasing however it notes that there healthcare professional still need to take extra caution in certain situations.
The Foundation suggests that healthcare service providers take precautions when treating anyone living with epilepsy including:
- Healthcare providers should note that some epilepsy medication reduces the immunity of users which is a risk at this time
- Healthcare professionals should encourage people living with epilepsy to continue taking their medication
- Plans should be made to make medication available in the event there is a disruption in supply chains
- Hospital visits should only be the last option at such a time
As we mark Purple Day let us be aware that we are in the middle of the Corona epidemic and as such we must all participate in social isolation, additional handwashing to assist in reducing our exposure risk.
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