Tawam Hospital leads activities for World Epilepsy Awareness Day

AL AIN: Tawam Hospital, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine and part of the SEHA Healthcare System, is marking “Purple Day”, more commonly-known as World Day for Epilepsy Awareness, by hosting a number of activities for the public to help raise awareness about the condition. Epilepsy is a non-communicable, chronic disorder of the brain, characterised by recurring seizures.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 data, epilepsy affects around 50 million people worldwide. One in 26 people are estimated to have the condition globally according to the Epilepsy Foundation, which is why March 26th has been chosen as World Day for Epilepsy Awareness.

Dr. Mohamed Al malik, Consultant and Chief of the Paediatric Neurology Division at Tawam Hospital, said, “In the U.A.E., there are approximately 35 thousands epilepsy patients, of which around one third are children. However, the majority of the general public are unaware of what epilepsy is and how the condition affects people. A great deal of perceived common knowledge’ about epilepsy is actually incorrect and outdated. For many years, epilepsy has been a subject that generates fear, misunderstanding, discrimination and social stigma. In fact, some of this stigma continues today in our communities, which unfortunately affects the quality of life for those people with the disorder and their families.

“At Tawam Hospital, we are committed to treating patients with epilepsy as well as helping their families and communities to become more aware and more accepting of this chronic condition. Reducing fear and misunderstanding through education about epilepsy can help to reduce the emotional burden often experienced by patients and families. We are hoping that with the activities we are conducting for World Epilepsy Awareness Day, we will be able to shed some light on what the condition is and how it affects people’s lives.” Tawam Hospital hosted community lectures today for both private and public institutions in Al Ain as well as displaying information posters in all of Tawam’s polyclinic patient waiting areas. For healthcare practitioners, a one-hour lecture was presented today which is credited as part of their Continued Medical Education (CME) for participants.