Presence of 200, 000 epilepsy patients estimated in Karachi

Karachi: Dr. M. Saleem Ilyas, Professor of Neurology & Director, Professional Development Centre DUHS said on Tuesday that the prevalence of epilepsy in the country is one percent according to the studies which means that in the city of approximately 20 million people like Karachi about 0.2 million people are suffering from epilepsy.

WHO gives a figure of 50 million people who are epileptic; 73 percent of these patients are not receiving treatment in underdeveloped countries.

According to an estimate, in Karachi only about 60 to 70 percent patients of epilepsy are not receiving treatment. The treatment gaps are bigger in rural areas which need to be taken care of. This can only be done through awareness; reaching these people through media, providing more information to these people and to improve epilepsy care services in different public sector hospitals Karachi.

He was speaking at a seminar organized by Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) to commemorate World Epilepsy Day at Arag Auditorium of Dow Medical College, Karachi. The objective of the celebrating World Epilepsy day is to raise awareness regarding epilepsy and thinking out plans for making improvements in epilepsy care in Pakistan.

Speakers included Prof. Masood Hameed Khan, Prof. Dr. Junaid Ashraf, Prof.

Muhammad Saleem Ilyas, Prof Raza-ur-Rehman, Dr. Yasmin Hasan, Dr Naila Naeem Shahbaz, Dr. Abid Hussain, Prof Junaid Ashraf, Prof. Aisha Mehnaz and others.

Prof. Masood Hameed Khan, Vice Chancellor, DUHS in his address stressed on the need of research in this field and assured of his full support in the improvement of services for epilepsy patients. He also informed the audience of Centre for Child Development established at Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, DUHS to provide multidisciplinary care to paediatric patients of epilepsy.

Dr. Abid Hussain, Assistant Professor and Incharge Paediatric Epilepsy Clinic, Department of Paediatric, DMC&CHK, DUHS in his talk on “Seizures in children” told the audience that In Pakistan, there are 1.8 Million epileptics and affected age group is mainly young adults.

Prof. Razaur Rehman, Professor of Psychiatry, DUHS spoke on “Breaking down the stigma of epilepsy” because there are many myths associated with epilepsy that has no scientific basis. It was stressed that epileptics should be treated like other patients and quality of life of these patients should be made better through awareness programs and through better service.

Later on, Prof. Masood Hameed Khan presented Professional Excellence Award
to Prof. Akhter Ahmed.