EpiRomania is the only lay epilepsy organization in Romania, founded in 2001. Since the association was established, it has consistently strived to raise awareness about epilepsy, first at local level, and later at regional and national levels. The organization has undertaken many projects, but efforts to raise awareness can never cease. The organization has also been involved in a number of advocacy campaigns focused on driving legislation, government funding for medication, and wishes to continue with these campaigns. In addition the organization has undertaken extensive work directly with people with epilepsy and their families, organizing a variety of activities, all aimed at raising awareness on the importance of having accurate information about epilepsy and about the importance of the personal involvement of the person with epilepsy – not only in obtaining effective treatment but also in ensuring social inclusion.
The goal of EpiRomania is to raise the quality of life of people with epilepsy in Romania and in the view of the association this can be achieved in the following ways:
- providing proper medical care and treatment for people with epilepsy;
- raising public awareness about epilepsy and thus eliminating social and professional exclusion;
- raising knowledge about epilepsy among people with epilepsy and their families, to ensure proper self management of their epilepsy;
- changing legislation in those areas where currently the rights of people with epilepsy are not safeguarded.
These are issues that many other countries may encounter; that are not easily changed; and which will require sustained efforts.
Raising Awareness is the main goal of the Romanian project planned by EpiRomania. Despite the obvious beauty of the architecture and countryside of the Transylvanian region, stigma, prejudice and ignorance about epilepsy are still widespread in this regionboth in people with epilepsy and the general public.
The project will receive US$5,000 from the Promising Strategies Program.