Epilepsy support association uganda

ESAU-IBE School Project

With support from International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE), Epilepsy Support Association Uganda (ESAU) is partnering with Secondary schools to facilitate the implementation of different activities that are aimed at increasing awareness about epilepsy, provide accurate information on the same condition, build the self esteem of school going children, give facts to school administrators and teachers so that epilepsy is brought out of the shadows in Uganda. The project aims at forming epilepsy clubs in 15 secondary schools in Kampala schools to make epilepsy information flow more efficient and accessible.

Epilepsy Support Association Uganda (ESAU) is an indigenous NGO that brings together people with epilepsy, their families and other people to work towards eliminating the social stigma attached to epilepsy and create an environment in which epilepsy is better understood so that those who live with it can exercise their full potential and enjoy equal rights. The association mobilizes people with epilepsy to form support groups through which they can meet to share experiences, offer each other mutual support and lobby for better services.

Epilepsy is a physical condition characterized by unusual electricity in the brain. It is a symptom of a neurological disorder and shows itself in the form of seizures. It is a disability classified under mental illness. Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent, unprovoked seizures and seizures are caused by a temporal change in the way the brain cells (neurons) work. Epilepsy affects all people, sexes.

Students living with epilepsy in Uganda are faced with a lot of stigma at school which forces them to keep silent about their condition. Worse still, the teachers are not aware of the many ways to positively handle epilepsy cases in their schools and so the students are not well equipped to provide even basic first aid to their peers at school. This has put students with epilepsy in risky positions and many have dropped out of school. This provides a challenge of increased number of persons living with epilepsy with inadequate skills to favorably compete in development aspects at community level thus increasing the dependency burden.

With support from International Bureau for Epilepsy, ESAU is partnering with secondary schools to facilitate the implementation of different activities that are aimed at bringing epilepsy out of the shadows and building self esteem among school going children, give facts to school administrators and teachers.

These activities include Sensitization meetings with teachers, Training of selected students in schools as epilepsy peer educators, Formation of school epilepsy clubs, Monthly performance by school clubs, Epilepsy writing competitions bi-annually in schools, Sensitization meetings in schools by ESAU twice in a month for students, Support to Epilepsy drama groups formed, Monitoring of epilepsy clubs by ESAU among others.

This project intends to create a platform for free and open discussions about epilepsy care and management in schools, increase openness of students with epilepsy, reduce stigmatization and drop out cases as a result of epilepsy.
The project also aims at fostering the skills of persons with epilepsy to be able to favorably compete with their counterparts in their respective schools and communities, thus reducing the dependency burden to government and the environments they live in. It further aims at equipping school administrators, teachers and other related staff with epilepsy facts especially on the causes, first aid and where to refer persons with epilepsy.