By Ritah Kemigisa
As Ugandans join the rest of the world to celebrate Valentine’s Day, activists are urging people to use this day as an opportunity to show love to children with epilepsy.
The call comes as the world also commemorates the International Day of Epilepsy which is celebrated every second Monday of February.
The day seeks to promote awareness and join hands to highlight the problems faced by people with epilepsy, their families and for their carers to better support them.
According to Dr Richard Idro, a Consultant Pediatrician and former president Uganda Medical Association, figures show that at least five children out of 500 pupils may have epilepsy.
He however says many affected children are denied school mostly due to stigma, negative beliefs and a poor understanding of epilepsy.
Dr Idro now advises that much as epilepsy is chronic or may be caused by abnormal development of the brain, it can be cured and preventable if mothers seek proper antenatal care, sleep in mosquito nets and vaccination against meningitis.
In Uganda, an estimated 450,000 to 900,000 people are living with epilepsy.