Government calls on communities to recognise epilepsy as a disability

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By Ndatenda Njanike

GOVERNMENT and various organizations this week came together in Harare for belated commemorations of  International Epilepsy day and called on society to recognize the condition as a Disability.

The International Epilepsy Day, celebrated each year on the second Monday of February, is an opportunity to raise awareness of epilepsy, what it is, how it can be treated, and what is needed to bring treatment to all people who need it.

On 9 June 2021 President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the National Disability Policy which included persons with epilepsy.

Speaking during the celebrations held in Hatfield, government representative Christine Peta, Director Disability Affairs in the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare encouraged society to recognize people with epilepsy as disabled.

“The aim of the International Day is to raise awareness on epilepsy, thus helping health workers to diagnose epilepsy, and other stakeholders to deliberate and take action on the availability of medicines as well as undertake research into health and social care response to epilepsy, thus disability programming which includes epilepsy.

“Epilepsy is triggered by abnormal electrical discharge in the brain resulting in an involuntary change in body movement, function, sensation, awareness and behavior.

“Epilepsy is one of the major brain disorders worldwide and must be considered as one of the priorities in health care and social welfare.”

She added that government had delegated officers in all provinces of Zimbabwe to cater for those living with disability.

“The Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare offers services to persons with disabilities, including persons with epilepsy, in all 10 provinces of Zimbabwe and both rural and urban areas,” she said.