Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The high cost of Epilepsy medication is hindering patients from accessing proper medication to keep seizures under control.
Sarah Nekesa, the Executive Director Epilepsy Support Association Uganda (ESAU) notes that while Epilepsy drugs are included on the government’s essential medicine’s list, which means they should be provided free of charge, they are not available in government health facilities.
She notes that on average every epileptic patient spends Shillings 18,000 approximately US$ 5 monthly on treatment, which is costly for ordinary Epileptic patients, most of whom are either unemployed or underemployed.
Since epileptic patients rarely get healed, they are bound to take medication for their lifetime, according to Nekesa. Nina Mago, an Epileptic victim and activist says accessing Epileptic drugs in Uganda is a hurdle because not so many can afford the cost.
Mago also says because the drugs to prevent the Epileptic seizures are very expensive, some parents tend to have a misconception that Epilepsy is a curse and opt to transfer their children to villages and abandon them.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes the abnormal functioning of the brain leading to seizures or periods of unusual behavior and sometimes loss of unawareness.
Mago explains that while all Epileptic patients undergo seizure episodes, not all seizures are due to Epilepsy, which calls for a medical checkup to find out the cause.
She also says that reoccurring seizures is a major sign of Epilepsy though one needs to visit a neurologist to affirm the condition before undertaking any kind of treatment.
Maurice Osire Tukei, a Clinical Psychologist at Pristine Psycare, says people with Epilepsy actually need more care than the people who don’t have the condition because of the unplanned-for episodes they incur.
Osire goes on to explain that Epilepsy can occur at adult stage hence changing one’s life in a short time. He says that when such unplanned for changes occur, one needs to seek psychosocial support in order to cope up with the availing situation.