17th May 2024

Dr Francis Oppong, a psychiatric specialist at the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Kospital (KATH), has admonished the public to seek professional help for epileptic patients, rather than resorting to spiritual intervention at prayer camps.

He said epilepsy is curable with medical treatment, and cautioned against over reliance on spiritual treatment for the sickness.

He was speaking to the media after a sensitisation programme on epilepsy organised by the Psychiatric Unit of KATH, as part of activities to mark World Epilepsy Day, on Monday.

Amongst the topics discussed were current trends in management of epilepsy, not all abnormal behaviours are mental illness and epilepsy in children.

Get timely care

Dr Oppong said attributing epilepsy to witchcraft and other spiritual causes, without getting timely medical attention for sufferers, can only aggravate the conditions of patients. He therefore urged families of the affected to seek for prompt medical attention.

He said even though it is difficult to cure advanced epilepsy, it is still manageable to allow patients to live normal lives.

“Epilepsy can give you an intellectual disability if it persists for a long period, but people usually consider all abnormal behaviours resulting from epilepsy as mental disorder,” he observed.

This, he noted, is the reason why people should visit medical facilities to determine their conditions to ensure appropriate treatment.

He said epilepsy is neither genetic nor transferable, and urged the public to disregard that perception and get closer to aid people when they get the episodes.

Credit: GNA

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