Karachi: Experts said here that although epilepsy is a curable neurological disorder, majority of children suffering from it in Pakistan has no access to treatment facilities and education, while a large number of people consider the disease as some kind of supernatural phenomenon.
They were speaking to the participants of a walk organised by Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN) to mark the International Epilepsy Day. Schoolchildren, teachers, doctors and common people participated in the walk held in front of Karachi Press Club.
Talking to media persons on the occasion, PSN’s president Dr Muhammad Wasey Shakir said that of around two million epilepsy patients in Pakistan, more than one million are children and majority of them have no access to either education or the treatment facilities.
He claimed that hardly 25 per cent of the epileptic children are getting treatment as majority of parents either consider it as some kind of supernatural phenomenon or a condition under the influence of demonic forces and, as such, instead of visiting the health facilities, they approach faith healers and quacks.
Dr Wasey maintained that epilepsy was a curable disease even in Pakistan, where qualified neurologists and all the medicines required to treat the neurological disorder were available.
He told the participants of the walk that epileptic children could get education like normal children and become doctors, engineers, teachers and perform their responsibilities in all spheres of life without any difficulty.
“All we need is awareness that epilepsy is a disease, which is curable and has nothing to do with supernatural and demonic forces”, he added.
Pediatric Neurologist Dr Atif Saeed Anjum said that treatment of epilepsy was available at most of the country’s tertiary care hospitals and maintained that hundreds of children were getting education like normal children after getting proper treatment for their health condition.
He informed that International Maternal and Child Health Foundation (IMCHF), Pakistan, was striving for creating awareness and ensuring availability of treatment facilities to children, born with hereditary neurological disorders.
Secretary PSN Dr Abdul Malik and others also spoke on the occasion.