The Africa Regional committee decided to visit Rwanda to hold an executive meeting and at the same time hold meetings with people who have interest in forming Epilepsy Association of Rwanda. The Regional Chairman was unable to attend due to prior commitments.
A two man meeting was held between the vice chairman and the secretary. The focus of the discussion was based on the following agenda:
- Regional report
- Review of 27th International congress
- 2008/2009 Action plan
The following were the only countries that submitted reports:
- South Africa
27th International Congress
It was observed that very few countries in the Africa region attended international conferences, this was due to financial difficulties.
- To encourage members to find raise funds for International congresses.
- IBE should support members with travel scholarships especially those who submit abstracts. It has been observed that the International League Against Epilepsy sponsors a lot of people who submit abstracts whereas the International Bureau for Epilepsy does not.
There were very few countries who sent items to be included on the IBE website.
- To encourage all members to submit reports to be sent to IBE for inclusion on the website.
- The Kampala meeting proposal of creating Regional website should be worked on by the people who were assigned.
2008/9 Action Plan
The following activities were suggested:
- Africa regional executive to communicate with inactive members.
- To hold regional executive meeting in Botswana in June 2008.
- To organize Africa regional conference. Details to be done later.
- To start publishing regional magazine.
- To encourage members involved in the promising strategy projects to submit reports.
- To draw up Africa region Charter which should be signed by all members.
Second day 12th December 2007
- Held a meeting in the morning at Alpha Palace Hotel with Dr. Rutakayile Bizoza who is a consultant neurologist working at the CBR project centre where a good number of epilepsy patients are seen. He was happy that we had gone to Kigali to spearhead the formation of epilepsy Association, he promised to be part of the group once it is formed.
- Another meeting was held at the Community Rehabilitation Centre (CBR) and five people attended. The Administrator of the centre reported that the Centre has more than 1000 epilepsy patients who access anti-epileptic drugs. The Centre runs Mobile clinics to four areas, more areas need to be covered in future as the prevalence of epilepsy in many areas of Kigali and else where is very high. Apart from clinics the centre also conducts epilepsy radio programmes. The programme is run by the project Nurses and Social workers. The Centre Director bemoaned lack of resources as a draw back to the expansion of epilepsy activities since the Centre has many other activities.
The last meeting was held with Dr. Raphael Medical Director at Dera Neuro- Psychiatric Hospital. The Director was happy to learn that the duo was in Kigali to spearhead the formation of epilepsy Association of Rwanda. He promised to second some members of staff to sit on the committee. Dr. Raphael briefly reported that they were a lot of epilepsy patients who attend out patient clinic and drugs are provided to them. The following are some of the drugs available at the hospital:
- Sodium Valproate
He mentioned that some times these drugs are out of stock and bemoaned lack of activities for epilepsy patients since all of them are only seen as out patients. He was happy that the Association was being formed to address the social issues for epilepsy patients.
The visit to Rwanda and holding of the executive committee meeting there encouraged the local group to speed up the formation of the Association and also helped the group to gain support from the health authority. Such visits should be done regularly to many other countries in the region every year.