(Kenya Association for the Welfare of People with Epilepsy)
Learning Through DramaWith 42 ethnic communities in Kenya, each of which has its own mother tongue, norms and beliefs that can affect attitudes and reactions to epilepsy, KAWE has undertaken many communication campaigns and produced educational materials, but it is very difficult to address the specific myths prevalent in each community through generic messaging.
To develop information materials in the local languages is also very expensive. Although the association has booklets already in circulation in three widely used languages, there are still many who cannot read them due to illiteracy problems.
KAWE has developed a schools and community drama project to depict issues surrounding epilepsy, specific to each community. Through this project the association intends to increase epilepsy awareness, reaching at least 200 public community forums in one year, through filming and recording community dramas for use on local TV and radio, which will allow the programme to reach a wider audience.
Zambia : Epilepsy Association of Zambia
Educational Materials Production UnitThe association is setting up an educational materials production unit to produce brochures and flyers, both in local and English languages, which will be distributed free of charge to association members and to members of the public. The unit will also produce calendars and seizure diaries, which will be sold at low cost.
The diaries will be used by members and clients at other health centres to keep a record of their seizures, appointments and the medication they are taking.
A room at the centre will be converted into a production unit for this work. Some members, who are not involved in other projects, will be trained for this work with funds raised will be used to expand the project. The association will partner with a local printing companies, which will provide guidance to the unit.
Once established, other printing such as T‐ shirts, banners, and epilepsy education books, will also be considered.
The project will provide employment for people with epilepsy thereby reducing their dependence on their families. The result will be an improvement of life quality, increased awareness on epilepsy in the general public and the ensuing reduction in stigma associated with epilepsy.
Namibia: Epilepsy Namibia
On The MoveEpilepsy Namibia is taking its awareness program nationwide. Through contact with people with epilepsy in the past, and through figures from the latest census, the association has identified four areas in the country where it could reach the highest number of people. The association will travel 4,000 kilometers, visiting Oshakati in the north, Keetmanshoop in the south, Swakopmund and Walvisbay on the west coast and Gobabis in the east.
At each point Epilepsy Namibia will establish contact with the clinic that forms the backbone of care for patients in the region. Public awareness is planned for town centers, with information distribution as well as a DVD presentation. Special invitations are being extended to people in the area, identified as having epilepsy, for a get together to boost support groups. Translators to local languages are being obtained from the local community.
In the past there has been difficulty in making contact in the North of Namibia where the population density and the prevalence of epilepsy are high, but a neurologist at the State Hospital in Oshakati, who also attended the 1st African Epilepsy Congress in Nairobi in 2012, has become a member of Epilepsy Namibia. She will be a reference point for this awareness campaign. A long standing sponsor, ITCS (Information Technology Consulting Services), will again support the association by providing a vehicle, driver and IT services.
Swaziland : Swaziland Epilepsy Association
Dairy Farming Project
The organization will train people with epilepsy in dairy farm husbandry, for which the association has already acquired land. Swaziland is presently importing 70% of the milk consumed in the country from South Africa. This means that the project already has a market in which to sell the produce, as milk is in high demand. The association plans to begin the project by buying eight dairy cattle - Friesians in particular. Friesians have the advantage of producing larger quantities of milk as compared to the Jersey breed.
Each dairy cow can produce milk for ten months annually, with the eemaining two months are for gestation, and has the potential to produce between twenty to thirty-five litres of milk per day. Through the training, those involved in the project will acquire the means and skills to become self-reliant. This project will not only benefit members but also their families and the community. Once the project is self sustainable, more cows will be produced, thus more income will be generated and this in turn will improve the standard of the community and the family members and ensure continuation of the project. The main aim is to empower people with epilepsy.