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2.2 million epilepsy patients in Pakistan

2022-02-15 01:00:00

LAHORE:Punjab Institute of Neurosciences Executive Director Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood has said that Epilepsy is one of the major neurological diseases in the world which is caused by a disorder in the brain cells and patients have occasional spells.

He added that the care and upkeep of such a patient becomes a permanent responsibility of his family for which they have to face long-term difficulties as well. He expressed these views while addressing an awareness walk and seminar at PINS on the occasion of “World Epilepsy Day” on Monday. Prof Mohsin Zaheer, Prof Qasim Bashir, Prof Athar Javed, MS Dr Khalid Bin Aslam, Prof Anwar Chaudhry, Dr Shahid Mukhtar, Dr Arshi Arif, Nursing Superintendent Razia Shamim besides a large number of doctors, nurses and paramedics were present. They carried banners and pamphlets on disease awareness, prevention and symptoms.

Prof Khalid said that the development of medical science and availability of modern medicines in the market has made it possible to treat Epilepsy disease in a better way. He said that due to modern trends in neuro-medical sciences, it is important to create awareness among the people about the diagnosis of Epilepsy so that people can seek treatment from an authorised doctor instead of going to quacks. He added that the epilepsy patient should keep the medicine prescribed by the doctor with him all times and should tie a band on the hand on which is written about his illness and he should be told that in case of stroke he should take the medicine.

Prof Mohsin Zaheer told that more than 50 million people around the globe suffer from epilepsy, including 2.2 million in Pakistan as approximately nine out of every 1,000 people in Pakistan are affected by this disease. The prevalence of this disease is around 1% which is very high ratio. He said that the main cause of epilepsy after 50 years is high blood pressure, diabetes and brain tumours while effective measures can be used to control this disease.

Dr Shahid Mukhtar said that during epileptic seizures, the patient faints, the tongue gets stuck between the teeth, the hands and feet become twisted or stiff, the pupils of the eyes go up, the mouth becomes stiff. With seizures lasting one to two minutes and if a patient has these symptoms for more than five minutes, he should be taken to hospital immediately. When children do any work, they suddenly become numb or silent for 10 to 15 seconds. Some epilepsy patients suddenly fall down while standing and they are more likely to get head injuries.

He said that during epileptic seizures, a cloth should not be stuffed in the mouth of the patient, if there is a scarf or tie around the neck, loosen it, remove the sharp objects so that the patient is not injured. Lay down him on one side so that the tongue does not go down the throat.

Talking to media, MS Dr Khalid bin Aslam said that due to availability of modern medicines for the treatment of epilepsy, the disease has not been fatal; however, in case of accidents, there are still dangers for such patients. Dr Arshi Arif said that the patient needs constant medication and the guidance of doctors so it is very important to use the services of good and experienced neurophysiologist so that in case of change in symptoms or reduction or severity of the disease the medication is reduced. She said that Epilepsy patients should keep their lifestyle natural and avoid sleeping late at night, stress, hot weather, alcohol consumption, excessive use of television and computer.

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