To coincide with the official launch of the IBE Eastern Mediterranean Regional Committee on 21st February 2007, IBE President Susanne Lund issued the following Press Statement:
PRESS RELEASE: embargoed until Wednesday 21st February 2007
3 483 000 people with epilepsy in the Eastern Mediterranean Region
IBE launched today (Wednesday 21st February 2007) its Eastern Mediterranean Regional Committee. The launch took place in conjunction with the 1st Mediterranean Epilepsy Congress in Luxor, Egypt, at which his Excellency Hatem El Gabaly, Minister for Health and Education, was a special guest.
- Epilepsy is more than a medical diagnosis. It is a condition that also brings with it serious social, economical, physical and psychological consequences for the person receiving the diagnosis and for family members and carers. In launching the IBE Eastern Mediterranean Regional Committee we plan to bring about real change for the almost 3,5 million people with epilepsy living in the region, said Susanne Lund, President of IBE.
- Epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder and a global problem that recognizes no class distinction or global boundary, affecting all ages, races, social classes, and countries. Epilepsy is also a very treatable disorder and, according to figures produced by the WHO, up to 70% of persons diagnosed with the condition could lead normal lives, if properly treated. Yet many people with epilepsy suffer silently and alone, Mrs Lund continued.
- Epilepsy no only imposes enormous burdens on persons diagnosed with the condition; the economic burden that it imposes on national economies must also be recognized. Economic studies have shown that it is cheaper to provide treatment for people with epilepsy, thereby allowing them to live normal lives, playing a positive role in their national economies, than it is to provide the social services they require as persons with untreated epilepsy.
- Now through the introduction of the Eastern Mediterranean Committee, IBE member associations in the region will come together to share knowledge and expertise on national issues common to all, added Mrs Lund.
IBE members in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are based in Eygpt, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
Fact about Epilepsy
- The word epilepsy is derived from the Greek word meaning to be seized, to be overwhelmed by surprise.
- Epilepsy is a collective term for a large group of disorders of the brain that are characterized by seizures.
- A seizure is like an internal electrical storm. It is the consequence of abnormal, excessive discharges of nerve cells.
- Seizures may vary in duration from a few seconds to several minutes.
- Seizures are symptoms of the disorder, they are not the disorder itself, yet it is the seizures and associated stigma, rather than the condition itself, which ruin the lives of people with epilepsy.
- It is estimated that 50 million people have epilepsy.
- The prevalence of active epilepsy is estimated at 4 8 per 1000 of the population. This rate is significantly higher in developing regions due to poor sanitation and associated diseases.
- Five per cent of the worlds population will have at least one seizure during their lifetime.
- With appropriate treatment, up to 70% of people with epilepsy become seizure-free.
- Mortality rates of people with epilepsy are 2-3 times that of the general population.
- IBE is a national umbrella organisation of lay epilepsy associations, which was founded in Rome in 1961.
- IBE exists to improve the social condition and quality of life of people with epilepsy and those who care for them.
- IBE has a vision of the world where everywhere ignorance and fear about epilepsy are replaced by understanding and care.
- IBE currently has a membership of 113 epilepsy associations, based in 88 countries worldwide.
- IBE members in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are based in Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
Find out more by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting our website www.ibe-epilepsy.org.
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