In light of epilepsy awareness week observed from the 10th-16th of February, Reea Foundation decorated their centre in Craighall Park in purple in order to create awareness about epilepsy. The center primarily focuses on maintaining a residential care facility for adults living with epilepsy and associated illness.
According to Alex Sheffield, Manager of the Reea Foundation “One in every 100 South Africans are affected with epilepsy. People feel that epilepsy is a disability but I don’t believe so. Today, with the medical advancements available, people can live a better, more normal life”.
Sheffield explained that the awareness also served as a pioneer to Purple Day in March, when the foundation will have an educational awareness table and tenants at the centre will each do something to create awareness. He explained that many South Africans are unaware of the signs and symptoms associated with epilepsy, which often results in late detection.
Some of the signs and symptoms of epilepsy include seizures, fits, absent-mindedness, complaints of headaches, loss of memory, children who are slow learners. Sheffield said parents who suspect their children might be suffering from epilepsy should take their children to hospital or visit a local doctor to have tests done and medication will then be prescribed according to the epilepsy type.
He encouraged community members to educate themselves concerning the condition to combat the prevalence of stigma.