Epilepsy: Medical Expert Warns Against Patronizing Quacks

Communities across Kano and other parts of the country have been advised to shun fetish influences, patronizing quacks and consult the available medical facilities for cases of both epilepsy and sickle cell in children in particular.

The advice came from Zubairu Ilyasu a professor of medical health at Bayero University Kano (BUK) and Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital (AKTH), who is the coordinator at an International Conference seeking to develop future leaders in Child Neurology and Epilepsy Research.

At the event with the theme: Optimizing Child Neurology and Epilepsy Outcomes in Northern Nigeria, which took place in Kano on Tuesday, the professor lamented the stigma being faced by patients whose ailments are wrongly linked to evil spirits and demons.

He explained that the workshop is to empower upcoming health workers at all levels to researches conducted on epilepsy and sickle cell, especially in children.

“The main message I want to deliver here is that our people should seek help, whenever they have a child with epilepsy and sickle cell disease, they should not stay at home and believe that it is due to evil spirit.

“They should contact health workers starting from the nearest health facilities to them usually at the primary healthcare level. And then subsequently if they cannot handle those issues at that level, they know what to do, they will refer them to the hospitals, both the general hospitals and the teaching hospitals.

“So we want to help children with epilepsy and sickle cell” he stated.

Speaking on the workshop, he stated that the event is the first International Conference on Neurology and Epilepsy in Nigeria.

He said that the purpose of the gathering is to share ongoing researches mostly conducted in institutions in Kano, Northern Nigeria and across Africa, particularly at Bayero University Kano, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna.

He added that the researches conducted are related to Sickle Cell and Epilepsy, which are two difficult diseases to handle because of the stigma they have.

On the findings of the researches that were presented, the health professor said they include the use of a new drug called urea in managing sickle cell and the possiblity of training community health extension workers and other health cadres apart from doctors to be able to screen children with epilepsy and also manage epilepsy at their own levels.