T. Ali & Co.
Dr. Uzma Choudhry
In under-resourced countries like Pakistan overall epilepsy care is poor. Inadequate medical treatment due to multifaceted problems including, heightened social stigma, lack of awareness, poverty, deeply rooted societal misconceptions, poor health infra structure, insufficient number of specialist, all enhance the physical and psycho-socio-economical tribulations and marginalization of people with epilepsy (PWE). Governmental priorities and resources (financial/human/technological) are directed towards commoner infectious diseases ignoring epilepsy. Help from civic-society and welfare associations is usually unavailable due to lack of awareness about epilepsy and the associated stigma keeping the ill-informed away.
Epilepsy Support Pakistan (CECP-ESP) is an all-Pakistan-based outreach project of CECP for continued and sustained public awareness working in tandem with National Epilepsy Centre (CECP-NEC). CECP-ESP is the full voting chapter of International Bureau of Epilepsy (IBE).
The prime objective of CECP-ESP is to change the mindset of the nation towards this disorder through intense and sustained public awareness campaign. CECP-ESP volunteer doctors over the last two decades have planned and executed various indigenous methods for epilepsy mass awareness with much success. We started small, remain flexible to replace some older not so effective activities with newer ones whilst the other time-tested successful activities continue to run in tandem with the new ones.
Our prime objective is achieved through intense public awareness about epilepsy and its treatability, training primary care physicians (PCP), postgraduates and paramedics in better understanding and management of epilepsy to help provide basic clinical services to PWE at their doorsteps and helping them liaison with epilepsy specialists of CECP-NEC when required. Various projects undertaken to achieve our aims and objectives include:
Television has reached the homes of masses in every nook and corner of the country making it easier to disseminate our awareness message. It has proven to be time and cost effective with a much wider geographical reach as compared to the previous physical activities of limited volunteer neurologists in a selected region. Also visual memory is more impactful with long memory retention especially when viewed a multiple time over a short period.
Social Media is the new informal popular way of communication and we are using it to create awareness.
Neurology Research & Patient Welfare Fund organized a small gathering to introduce the NGO, CECP-NEC and CECP-ESP to a group of concerned citizens of the city. The basic aim of this event was to invite people of good standing and motivate them to volunteer in creating awareness about epilepsy and help raise funds for epilepsy-related activities. The group was shown a documentary elaborating the NGO and its epilepsy-related activities, followed by a Q & A session. The event was graciously hosted by Mr. and Mrs.Qaiser Columbowala.
Prof. Hasan Aziz
Prof. Shaukat Ali
Dr. Zarine Mogal
Dr. Hiba Mahmud
Mrs. Masuma Lotia
Ms. Mariam Halai
Ms. Firoozeh Mogal
Ms. Lubna Ayub
Prof. Syed Wasim Akhtar
Dr. Abdul Latif Mian
T. Ali & Co.
Dr. Uzma Choudhry
Our landmark paper, Epilepsy treatment gap and stigma reduction in Pakistan: A tested public awareness model was published in a reputable medical journal in end Dec 2019. The paper was received with accolades from entire medical especially neurology community for its groundbreaking approach towards reduction of treatment gap in a poorly resourced country.