Epilepsy is not contagious- Mental Health Coordinator

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The Wa Municipal Coordinator for Mental Health, Mr. Sylvester Basagnia has stated that epilepsy is not contagious as perceived by some section of the general public. Ghana joins the rest of the world to celebrate International Epilepsy Day.

International Epilepsy Day is a special event which promotes awareness of epilepsy in more than 120 countries every year on the second Monday of February.

Mr. Sylvester Basagnia called on all in the municipality to support people with the condition when they have a seizure noting that they are not at risk of contracting the disease when they come into contact with epileptic patients.

He called for stigma and discrimination against epileptic patients to stop adding that everyone was at risk of contracting the condition.

The Mental Health Coordinator stated epilepsy cases have increased in the municipality over the years because most facilities now have mental health staff who can detect the condition.

According to him the municipality during the 2017 annual Health Review recorded 60 epilepsy cases. However, the number of cases reported in the municipality increased to 156 in 2018.

Mr. Basagnia made this known in an interview with Radio Progress on Sunday.

This year’s International Epilepsy Day celebration was under the theme “epilepsy is more than seizure.”

Mr. Basagnia also stated that when people are around an epileptic patient who suddenly has a convulsive seizure, they should not attempt to restrain the person unless failing to do so could result in obvious bodily harm.

Meanwhile some epileptic patients in Bamahu in the Wa Municipality has called on all in the Municipality to help reduce stigma and discrimination against persons with epilepsy.

They stated that though their families have shown them love and support after discovering they have the disease, the public need to accept and support persons with the condition.

Some of them revealed that they are jobless and depend on their families for support because of their condition.

International Epilepsy Day is a special event which promotes awareness of epilepsy in more than 120 countries every year on the second Monday of February.

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain. People who have epilepsy have electrical activity in the brain that is not normal, causing seizures. There are different types of seizures. In some cases, a seizure may cause jerking, uncontrolled movements, and loss of consciousness.

In other cases, seizures cause only a period of confusion, a staring spell, or muscle spasms. Epilepsy is also called a “seizure disorder.”

Epilepsy is not a mental illness, and it is not a sign of low intelligence.

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