Don’t confine children with epilepsy to prayer camps-KATH

A Paediatrician at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Dr. Lawrence Osei Tutu has entreated parents to desist from confining their children with epilepsy in faith based and herbalists camps.

Dr.Osei Tutu indicated that there are quality drugs that can treat people with epilepsy, thus urging them to visit the health facilities than resorting to prayer camps.

He called on health facilities to fix the system in order to treat epileptic very well as they compete with faith based healers.

‘Unfortunately, the disease has been so demonised and spiritualised, is rooted in us before Christ. So you can imagine that it’s been with us since the beginning of human beings, it depends on how sophisticated your health system is, but the ideal is that, everybody who has had even a single episode of a seizure should be evaluated,’ he explained.

He encouraged Ghanaians to show love to people with epilepsy.

Dr. Osei Tutu assured that epilepsy is not communicable and contagious.

‘There is no way you can be infected with the saliva touching you, it is not communicable and is not contagious. Don’t put things in his mouth,  so the best thing to do is to turn the head of person to the side which is very important,’ he said.

On her part, a Specialist at Psychiatric Unit of KATH, Dr. Ruth Owusu Antwi explained that people who live in cassava growing areas are prone to developing epilepsy.

‘Majority are genetics, people who live in cassava growing areas develop epilepsy. You have to intersperse cassava with other foods. Parents must limit cassava in- take. Eating cassava continuously for 7 days in a week is wrong.  Fresh cassava uprooted contains cyanide so must be processed well before they eat, those who uproot the cassava from the soil and start eating it right away is wrong. Let it lie down for some few days before you cook and eat, because when cyanide gets into the brain, you stand risking epilepsy,’ she explained.

She indicated that poverty has been established as one of the direct factors of developing epilepsy.

Dr. Antwi advised people diagnosed with epilepsy should not be allowed to swim and cook alone.

By: Osei