AWARENESS AND EDUCATION
`Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.'
Epilepsy awareness is one of our foundations key purposes. Kiserem Epilepsy Foundation believes that by increasing awareness about epilepsy in Kenya - and by sharing the plight of Kenyans with epilepsy with others around the world - we can break the stigmas, smash the myths, and stop the discrimination and isolation that our people experience. This doesn't just help those with Epilepsy, but also increases the strength of the community. Like most other members of the community, people with epilesy have a burning passion to contribute to their society and find purpose. IF THEY ARE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO CONTRIBUTE, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Epilespy is a neurological disorder that affects people in every country throughout the world. It’s one of the oldest conditions known to mankind. It is characterized by a tendency to have recurrent seizures which manifests in the loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Having a seizure in an unsafe environment increases the likelihood of drowning, being burnt by fire, road accidents, deep cuts, broken bones, and other bodily injuries.
According to Kenya National Epilepsy Guidelines, epilepsy is more common in developing countries. It affects more than 70 million individuals globally, 10 million in Africa, and 1.2 million in Kenya. Unfortunately, myths and stigmas about the condition remain widespread in Kenya. Epilepsy is commonly percieved as witchcraft, demon possession, or a worm in the brain; people in the community often think it is contagious or a punishment from God. Individuals with epilepsy and their caregivers often experience outright discrimination and isolation. Additionally, Kenya, as a country, has not clearly defined the rights of individuals with epilepsy. This leaves a lot of loopholes that individuals, such as employers, use as an excuse for firing or not hiring individuals with epilepsy. Due to stigmatization and the lack of legal protection, individuals with epilepsy and their caregivers experience an increased likelihood of unemployment and poverty. Recovery from an episode can take several days and requires close monitoring and care. Community support and caregivers are imperative to the recovery process. This condition not only affects the individual, but also takes a heavy toll on family, direct caregivers, and the health of the community.
With medication and lifestyle changes, epilepsy is a very treatable condition, and yet only 20% of Kenyans with epilepsy take AEDs (Anti-Epileptic Drugs) due to lack of finances, education, transportation, and medical access. Most go untreated, or rely solely on herbal medicine. This further causes an endless loop of destitution as the more epileptic episodes one has, the greater discrimination they and their caregivers will experience in the workplace. This cycle hinders their participation in society as active workers, caretakers, and community members. They are often excluded from school, work, church and other social activities due to stigmatization. Not only do they experience intense isolation, they are also very vulnerable to assault, accident, and abandonment. Because there are no other official support systems and very limited clinics and hospitals, our work is vital for people living in Kiambu County with Epilepsy.
Our awareness programming includes home visits, counseling, public classes and seminars, and public media to spread the word about epilepsy and its management. We believe that if more people can know about the condition and the complications it can cause in one's life, the better decisions can be made and the greater opportunities can be made available.
And that is why we focus so much on "Awareness". On this page you will find...
- All of our upcoming events and campaigns
- Links to all of our most popular (current, prior and ongoing) work across all online platforms.
- Articles from our CEO, and related posts / references from our international Connections.
- All of our fundraising campaigns and community events, both in Kenya and internationally.
Please feel free to share this page independently of our "standard" website - here is the individual link: