Epilepsy: Medical Expert Warns against Patronising Quacks




An illustration of first aid treatment for an epileptic patient. Image Source: Epilepsy Clinic

A medical expert, Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu has cautioned Nigerians living with epilepsy and sickle cell to desist from visiting and patronising quacks to avoid complication and improve their health status. He gave the advice in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the International Conference on Child Neurology and Epilepsy Research, on Tuesday in Kano.

Ilyasu, a professor of medical health, Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital (AKTH), enjoined Nigerians to shun fetish influences, patronising quacks and consult medical facilities for proper treatment of epilepsy and sickle cell.

He described the theme of the conference, which is, “Optimising Child Neurology and Epilepsy Outcomes in Northern Nigeria”, as timely, and decried spate of stigma being experienced by persons whose ailments erroneously linked to evil spirits.

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According to him, the workshop is to empower upcoming health workers at all levels to researches conducted on epilepsy and sickle cell, especially in children.

“The main message I want to deliver here is that our people should seek help, whenever they have a child with epilepsy and sickle cell disease, they should not stay at home and believe that it is due to evil spirit. They should contact health workers starting from the nearest health facilities to them usually at the primary healthcare level. Subsequently; if they cannot handle those issues at that level, they know what to do, they will refer them to the tertiary health institutions. We want to help children with epilepsy and sickle cell he said.

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The objective, he said, is to share ongoing researches on diseases at Bayero University Kano, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna. He added that the researches conducted focused on Sickle Cell and Epilepsy, adding that the disease are difficult to handle due to stigma.

“The finding of the researches presented includes the use of a new drug called “Urea” in managing sickle cell and the possibility of training community health extension workers and other health cadres apart from doctors to be able to screen children with epilepsy and also manage epilepsy at their own levels”.

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