Community health workers can significantly contribute to the reduction of the wide epilepsy treatment gap in medically disadvantaged communities or resource-limited settings.

However, most of these communities do not have community health workers. Even when the community health workers are available, they lack the necessary skills and knowledge.

It is in this light that Epilepsy Awareness and Aid Foundation (EAAF) Cameroon recently embacked on offering basic training on identification of epilepsy cases and first aid management to over 100 community health workers and health promoters in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. These campaigns began with the training of primary health nurses on June 21, 2022, Training of community health workers on June 29, 2022 and A Health talk in Presbyterian church Ntabessi on June 26, 2022. The nurses and community health workers trained were from the life abundant primary health care program of the CBC Health Services. These took place in churches and in social gatherings in Bamenda neighborhood.

According to Dr. Mundih Njohjam Noelar specialist in Epilepsy management, “During the training, we educated the participants on the causes of epilepsy, how to identify cases of epilepsy and seizure first aid. Additionally, we addressed common myths and misconceptions about epilepsy in the communities. We also gave them educational posters and encouraged them to carry out active sensitization in their communities”.

Drilling the congregation in a church in Bamenda, the boss of EAAF Cameroon gave some steps in offering first aid to someone having a convulsion or seizure.

Following the steps or instructions on the flyer she displayed, the following are important points to note:

DON’T RUN AWAY! The person needs your help! You will save the person’s life if you stay with them and give them seizure first aid.

Don’t be afraid to touch the person because epilepsy is not contagious.

Protect the patient from injury by pulling them away from fire or out of the river if they were convulsing besides a fireside or in a river.

DO NOT move or try to restrain the patient’s movements because this may result in a broken bone or injury.

DO NOT try to put anything in the mouth because this may damage the tissues in the mouth or obstruct the airway.

If in a public place, keep bystanders away.

If the seizure does not stop after 5 minutes – call for an ambulance or rush patient to a health facility close to you.

Despite the much sensitisation that has
been carried out, there still exists myths and cultural practices and beliefs that stigmatize or prevent the effective management of Epilepsy. These have either led to epilepsy patients developing other forms of disabilities from injuries or poor management and in some cases untimely dead.

EAAF Cameroon as a leading epilepsy management foundation in Cameroon, continues to educate communities on identification, Management and referral for treatment of epilepsy cases to treatment centres.

This sensitisation campaign and training by EAAF Cameroon were realised thanks to support from the Life Abundant Primary Healthcare Program (LAP) of the CBC Health Services.


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