By G9ija

A call has gone out to the general public to give necessary support to persons suffering from epileptic ailment and desist from the act of discriminating against people on the basis of any medical condition especially epileptic ailment which is not self-imposed.

This call was made by the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Segun Dawodu who stated that epileptic is just like any other disease that affects people.
Mr. Dawodu, who stated this while declaring open a virtual training programme organised by the Ministry of Youth and Social Development for social workers and caregivers with the topic ” Sensitisation and Training the Trainers on Epilepsy and Its Management” opined that people with epileptic diseases suffer much stigma and discrimination, hence the need for a change of mindset towards this set of people.

“It is a well-known fact that Epilepsy is a disease that affects people of all ages and according to research the disease is not contagious, it’s just like any other disease and moreover it’s not Infectious hence the need to stop the stigmatisation and discrimination against people suffering from this ailment”.

The Commissioner noted that the virtual training was organized by the Ministry in order to create awareness and also to train social workers and caregivers on how to handle people with epilepsy cases. He stated that social workers have a huge role to play hence the need to have them well informed about the disease.

Mr. Dawodu, therefore, urged the participants to make judicious use of the training available to them while noting that the speakers selected are specialists in their field with years of experience about the disease.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs. Yewande Falugba in her address noted that health is wealth as the wellbeing of citizens leads to productivity hence the reason while the ministry is creating awareness about the disease.

She stated that the Ministry deemed it fit to organize the workshop in order to improve the knowledge of social workers and caregivers on how best to handle the cases of epilepsy as they have a positive role to play.

Mrs. Falugba noted that virtual training is poised to be a rewarding one as seasoned experts in the field of neuropsychology will train the participants on things to know about epilepsy disease.

A leading consultant neurologist, Dr. Seyi Roberts in his address noted that epilepsy disease has been with mankind for centuries hence it’s not a new disease. He stated that contrary to the opinion that epilepsy is contagious, it is a disease that is not transferable.

Dr Roberts noted that according to research and questionnaires administered to people, about 23% of respondents stated that the disease is contagious while 11% associated it with madness. He, therefore, called for more education and advocacy about the disease.

Dr. Roberts appreciated the Lagos State Government for their effort in bringing the disease into light noting that it will nullify the erroneous belief in which people have about the disease.

Mrs. Adedoyin Oseni, the C.E.O of Mary Special Needs Foundation, a foundation that creates awareness about special needs especially epilepsy stated that participants will be out through the causes, prevention, and management of epilepsy while noting that there has always been a long age myth shrouded with epilepsy which she noted was a wrong perception about the disease.