Epilepsy patients for adequate drugs


Epilepsy patients in the country have pleaded with government to ensure that necessary drugs are readily available in all health facilities to avoid compromising their well-being. 

One of the patients, 21-year-old Olivia Melusi, made the call at Ntaja in Machinga District on Thursday during the commemoration of International Epilepsy Day.

She said scarcity of Epilepsy medication is the major challenge the patients are currently facing. 

Melusi, a Form Four student, said the situation makes her have regular seizures which affects her education.

“Sometimes we default treatment for months as we are mostly told that the drugs are not available in our nearest health facilities. This has a negative impact on my academic journey to becoming a journalist,” explained Melusi.

Ministry of Health Chief of Health Services (Technical), Dr Lilian Chunda, acknowledged the problem and assured of government’s commitment in managing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Epilepsy inclusive, to ensure universal health coverage. 

“While we still have some Epilepsy drugs in most of the health facilities; we acknowledge the problem. In the past we used to focus on infectious diseases only while neglecting some diseases like Epilepsy.

“A strategic plan is already in place to make sure that neglected diseases are also given the much needed attention because untreated Epilepsy is a life-threatening disorder,” said Chunda. 

Epilepsy Association Chairperson, James Tebulo, stressed that government alone cannot manage to satisfy patient needs hence the need for collaboration. 

He assured of continued networking with both local and international organisations for convenient access to quality health care.

Epilepsy, which affects people of all ages, is a condition characterised by recurrent seizures. It is ranked among top five causes of global neurological disability.

Globally, 125,000 estimated deaths per year are related to the condition. 

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), 25 percent of Epilepsy cases are preventable with certain criteria such as preventing head injury, taking adequate perinatal care and avoiding drug use among others. 

This year’s commemoration was held under the theme Milestones on my Epilepsy journey.

By Loness Gwazanga


One Comment

  1. Really this is very true they are going through tough condition indeed

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