Minister of Health Honorable Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP presided over this year’s International Day of Epilepsy Commemoration as the guest of honour at a function that was held on 16th February 2023 at Cholwe Primary School in Ntchisi.
Epilepsy is a chronic non-communicable disease of the brain and it causes seizures.
This year’s commemoration was themed ‘’Stamp out Stigma! End Stigma!’’
As the theme suggests the commemoration focused on raising awareness about epilepsy and encouraging the masses to refrain from discriminating people suffering from epilepsy.
Speaking at the commemoration, The Health Minister, Hon. Chiponda urged Malawians to stop stigmatising people with epilepsy by showing love to people suffering from epilepsy and encouraging them to take medication.
‘As government we will try our best to make sure that all the district hospitals in Malawi have all the medicine for epilepsy but also we are encouraging district hospitals to have reach out clinics keeping in mind that some people stay far away from district hospitals and they are unable to access the medicine,’’ Said Hon Chiponda
On measures put in place to combat stigma, Hon Chiponda, says government is conducting health education and community engagement.
‘We are encouraging health education and community engagement. It is a collective responsibility and we are asking everyone, all the constituencies, the media, the traditional leaders, the faith leaders and everyone that they have the role to play. We need everyone to come in and speak with one voice to stop the stigmatisation of people with epilepsy.’said Hon. Chiponda.
As a demonstration that people with epilepsy can live a normal life when they are not discriminated, the minister invited epilepsy ambassadors, which comprised of men, women, boys and girls who defied the odds by building successful careers while living with epilepsy.
Another dignitary that presided over the event was the Member of Parliament for Ntchisi South Constituency, Honourable Ulemu Chilapondwa. In his remarks he said it is unfortunate that some people’s stigma of persons with epilepsy has reached extreme levels such as locking family