#OnionChallenge: Chew an Onion Today in Support of Epilepsy Awareness

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Kenya joins the world in spreading awareness about Epilepsy today-Monday 13th February 2017- by chewing onions in support of the “Angaza Kifafa” campaign.

The National Epilepsy Cordination Committee (NECC) have come up with an initiative the “Onion Challenge” which dares one to chew an onion and share the video on social media with the hashtags: #AngazaKifafa #EpilepsyDay.
Like other social media challenges, the Onion Challenge seeks “trend” in hope of awareness creation with an aim of reducing the stigma associated with Epilepsy.

Internationally, the world celebrates Epilepsy on the second Monday of February. This year, the date falls on the 13th of February, a day before the famous “Valentine’s Day”, which is an interesting coincidence as St. Valentine is recognised in the Christian world as the patron saint of epilepsy.

In Kenya, an estimated 2 out of every 100 people live with epilepsy, yet management of the condition continues to be hampered by lack of Available, Accessible and Affordable health care and above all lack of Awareness. “The challenges can easily be overcome through proper training of medical professionals, awareness creation and treatment/management of the condition said “ NECC former Chairman Prof P.G Kioy stated. “An estimated 80% of patients never get to see a doctor due to the stigma attached to the disease. This places an unimaginable burden on the affected.
To address this NECC begun the “Angaza Kifafa” Nation Wide Epilepsy campaign in 2014 and with partnership from their official sponsor Bank of Africa (BOA) “Angaza Kifafa” has managed to visit seven (7) counties through Medical seminars and Roadshows. Other partners include pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi, Torrent, GSK and Sunpharma. The campaign aims to reach all forty (47) counties.

Epilepsy Truths:

*Epilepsy Stigma: Epilepsy is associated with neurological disabilities, such as developmental delay.

* Epilepsy Truth: “The majority of people who have seizure disorders do not have neurological disabilities.

* Epilepsy Stigma: People with epilepsy are violent.

*Epilepsy Truth: “During a seizure, a person may appear frightened, confused, angry, or combative, but violent behaviors are not associated with epilepsy.

*Epilepsy Stigma: People with epilepsy cannot hold a job.

*Epilepsy Truth: “Although some individuals may have restrictions – such as driving, lifting heavy objects, or climbing ladders – many people with epilepsy are able to successfully work.

*Epilepsy Stigma: Epilepsy is contagious.

*Epilepsy Truth: Epilepsy is not contagious. In some cases, it results from a medical condition or injury to the brain. In other cases, the cause is unknown

Go on, Chew an Onion today!

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