Campaign Launched to Stop Discrimination Against Persons With Epilepsy

CONGO TOWN, Montserrado – Stakeholders in the mental health sector have launched an awareness campaign to reduce the discrimination and stigma against persons with epilepsy.

Health Ministry statistics show that from 45 health facilities in Montserrado and Margibi, there were 8,970 cases of epilepsy reported in 2016.

The campaign has been launched by the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and Carter Center. A major part of the awareness campaign was the erection of a billboard in Congo Town, which provided basic information on epilepsy.

Janice Cooper, head of Carter Center’s mental health program in Liberia, said she was pleased to turn over the poster to the commissioner of Congo Town and Ministry of Health.

Janice Cooper, Head, Carter Center Mental Health Program. Photo: Zeze Ballah

“I hope that the inscriptions on the billboard will help with the education that epilepsy is not contagious, and people will understand how to keep persons with epilepsy safe when they are experiencing convulsion,” Cooper said.

Barkon Dwah, the mental health lead at WHO, said the organization would continue to support the ministry and its partners, especially the Carter Center in the intervention of mental health.

“It is good to educate the public about the helpful signs of epilepsy,” he said.

Addy Captan, the Congo Town commissioner, applauded the three institutions for erecting the billboard, which she said would help in raising awareness of stigma and discrimination of persons with epilepsy.

“I hope people will learn from the inscriptions about how to care for persons with epilepsy,” she said. “The issue of stigma and discrimination against persons with epilepsy should stop.”

Congo Town’s commissioner, Addy Captan. Photo: Zeze Ballah

For his part, Ngormbu Jusu Ballah, acting deputy minister for curative services at the Health Ministry, noted that Carter Center and WHO have continued to play a pivotal role in ensuring that mental health services are deliver to the optimum level in the country.

Ngormbu Jusu Ballah, acting deputy minister for curative services. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Unfortunately, Ballah said people have not received enough education on the cause and prevention of epilepsy. He said the billboard was “a step forward.”

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

The Bush Chicken is a young operation and we need your support to keep bringing you great content. Please support us.

Monthly   Yearly   One time

Gold Level Supporter—$250/year
Silver Level Supporter—$100/year
Bronze Level Supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Gold Level Supporter—$250
Silver Level Supporter—$100
Bronze Level Supporter—$50
Or pick your own amount: $
Contributions to The Bush Chicken are not tax deductible.

Related posts