Epilepsy is 70 percent curable disease: moot told

KARACHI: Renowned Neurologist Dr Fauzia Siddiqui revealed that children suffering from Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is only around 2.5 percent of total patients all over the world, but in Pakistan, this ratio is 7 percent, which is quite higher as compared to regional countries.

She shared these views while addressing an awareness program on epilepsy and launching of a DVD regarding the neurological disorder, its symptoms and treatment, jointly organized by Pakistan Society of Neurology and Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation.

Dr Fauzia said one type of epilepsy, known as LGS or Lennox syndrome, is a difficult to treat form of childhood-onset epilepsy that most often appears between the second and sixth year of life.

She said epilepsy is 70 percent curable disease and in some cases, patients with epilepsy are living a healthy life after treatment but unfortunately, a vast majority in Pakistan suffering from neurological disorder has no access to quality treatment facilities.

She claimed that every day, hundreds of patients visit the OPDs of public hospitals in the country and unfortunately, most of the doctors treating the patients with epilepsy are not quite trained to treat the various types of epilepsy.

She said due to unawareness among doctors regarding the types of epilepsy and difference in treatment of each type, patients don’t benefit from the treatment and they approach quacks and faith-healers for the treatment, which often result in disasters.

She claimed that there are around 50 guidelines for the treatment of patients with epilepsy in accordance with their age group and added that 25 of the 30 medicines, used to treatment epilepsy patients are available in Pakistan.

Prof Wasey Shakir only 25 percent of epileptic patients in Pakistan have access to health facilities and quality medicine for the treatment of epilepsy while around 150,000 patients have no access whatsoever for the treatment of neurological disorder.

He said most of the doctors are not aware and need to be trained to diagnose epilepsy among patients and they start irrelevant treatment, and added that doctors need training and awareness regarding epilepsy.

He claimed that most of the medicines for the treatment of epilepsy were very cheap and available in Pakistan and added that experts were available in the country, who could diagnose and treat epilepsy.

Prof Shakir said the disease of epilepsy is considered as a taboo and untreatable disease while many people consider it some kind of paranormal thing and approach to quacks and faith-healers, whose practices often complicate the disease and make it worse for both the patients and their loved ones.

Neurologists Dr Naila Shahbaz, Dr Rasheed Soomro, Prof Zia-ur-Rehman, Dr Abdul Malik and Naveed Akhtar also spoke on occasion.

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