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Epilepsy cases in Darrang remain untreated

By Correspondent

MANGALDAI, July 16 - Lack of necessary awareness regarding proper medication and prevention of epilepsy has adversely affected Darrang district, claimed a study by Guwahati-based GNRC Hospitals. A large number of epilepsy patients remained undetected due to lack of awareness on the part of parents, teachers, peers etc., about the symptoms and approach to provide treatment to epilepsy patients. This was presented before the media on Friday afternoon here at the Press Club.

The study, as stated by the GNRC spokespersons, was based on the records of the last 17 years maintained by the GNRC, and various other publicly available sources, including materials from 26 neurologists serving in the North-east.

Addressing the media, Dr Prasenjit Deka, Consultant, Department of Neurology, GNRC Hospitals, said, �Commonly known as mrigee, epilepsy is often understood as a synonym for seizure. In reality, epilepsy is more than a seizure. Every year, approximately 50 new cases are added to every one lakh population and Assam has the debilitating burden of three lakh epilepsy patients. The point which needs to be focused is that majority of these cases are unrecognised, under reported and hence untreated. For example, Darrang district has around 6811 patients. But, 99.33% of them are untreated. We all know that �health is wealth�. The corollary is that lack of health adversely affects not only the population�s physical well-being but also its mental, social and economic well-being.�

Dr Namrata Khandelwal, Consultant, Department of Neurology, GNRC Hospitals who was also present in the event said, �A healthy population is also one that is energetic, one that contributes to and drives the economy. Economic impact of untreated epilepsy is alarming in the district as individuals suffering from epilepsy remain unemployable.�

Speaking on the occasion, Satabdee Borah, CEO, GNRC Sixmile, detailed the unique and ambitious epilepsy awareness programme conducted by the hospital group. She said, �The pernicious consequences of non-detection of epilepsy impacts not only the physical well-being but also mental and social well-being of an individual. So as conscious members of the society, it is our responsibility to relentlessly endeavour to progress in the direction of �Health for All, Smiles for All�. We, at the GNRC, have adopted this as our guiding principle. We plan to organise free epilepsy detection and counselling camps in Darrang district. Our team of neurologists and epilepsy experts provide consultation to individuals free of cost. The first camp in Mangaldoi will be held on July 31.�

Concluding the session, Dr Deka stated that the main reason for 99.33% of untreated epilepsy cases due to lack of treatment or inadequate attention to prevention was lack of awareness. Requesting the media to support GNRC�s mission, he stated that only media can help take the message of preventive healthcare and early intervention to the masses, and thereby serve the cause of society-building and nation-building. He requested the media to support the GNRC in fulfilling this purpose.

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