The Turkish Epilepsy Association announced the results of the Epilepsy Awareness Research at a press conference. According to the research, 6 percent of the society believes that epilepsy is contagious. One out of every 5 people says 'I wouldn't want to hire an individual with epilepsy if I were an employer'. 1 out of 5 people do not want their relatives to marry an individual with epilepsy. The #Bak Awareness Campaign for Epilepsy, which is carried out by the Turkish Epilepsy Association to eliminate these prejudices, is entering its 2th year.
The Turkish Epilepsy Association shared the results of the Epilepsy Awareness Survey for the first time at a press conference held as part of the World Epilepsy Day. The research results revealed that the 5th #Bak For Epilepsy Awareness Campaign, which was held this year, is on the right track, but it also requires a long journey to tackle deeply entrenched prejudices in the society, dating back hundreds of years.
Stating that 100 out of every 1 people in the world and approximately 1 million people in our country have epilepsy, President of the Turkish Epilepsy Association. Dr. “It saddens us that there are still people who associate epilepsy with fairies today,” said Naz Yeni.
Prof. Dr. Naz Yeni: “Epilepsy is far from us as it is thought, it is not a disease that will never happen to us… Epilepsy may develop even after head trauma, brain inflammation, brain tumor, meningitis, radiation therapy. In fact, the lack of oxygen in the unborn baby during birth can also lead to epilepsy. The factors that cause the disease in almost 50 million of approximately 40 million epilepsy patients all over the world are not fully known. "Although the cause of the disease is not known exactly, the seizures of 70 percent of the patients can be controlled."
May increase unnecessary stress attacks in a pandemic
Bringing clarity to the most curious issues by individuals with epilepsy and their relatives during the pandemic period, Prof. Dr. The new pointed out that epilepsy patients do not pose a special risk for Covid-19. Prof. Dr. Yeni emphasized that during this period, it is important for patients to stay away from unnecessary stress and anxiety to keep their seizures under control.
Reminding that the most important issue for individuals with epilepsy who catch Covid-19 may be drug-drug interaction, Prof. Dr. He added that patients should notify their physicians dealing with Covid 19 about the epilepsy drugs they use. Prof. Dr. Yeni stated that not the disease itself but problems such as fever and shortness of breath can trigger seizures secondary to.
Individuals with epilepsy can get Covid-19 vaccine
Prof. Dr. Putting an end to the debate on whether new epileptic individuals should be vaccinated or not, it is okay for individuals with epilepsy to get the Covid-19 vaccine. In some cases, high fever was observed after vaccination. "Patients whose seizures are triggered by fever can use antipyretics for two days after vaccination."
3 million people think epilepsy is a haunted disease
Prof. Dr. Yeni also announced for the first time the results of the Epilepsy Awareness Survey conducted in 2021:
“According to the research results, 6 percent of the society believes that epilepsy is contagious. 5 out of every 1 people says 'If I were an employer, I would not want to hire an individual with epilepsy'. 5 out of 2 people do not want their relatives to marry an individual with epilepsy. Another striking result is that the rate of those who still believe that epilepsy is a demonic haunted disease is 5 percent.
On the other hand, one out of every 2 people does not know how to intervene in the person who has epileptic seizures. This is an area where we all need to be conscious of social sensitivity. One of the thought-provoking results of the study is that the rate of those who say 'Most epilepsy patients have mental and physical development retardation' is 36 percent. Even though this rate has decreased by 2018 percent compared to the study in 6, it is still very sad. Again, 10 out of 3 people say, 'I wouldn't want my child or my relatives to receive education from an educator with epilepsy.'
Prof. Dr. He pointed out that although some positive changes were observed in some results compared to the study in 2018, these prejudices, which are the legacy of hundreds of years of misinformation and beliefs, are still an important challenge in the lives of individuals with epilepsy.
What Does Epilepsy Have to Do With Not Having Children!
Vice President of the Turkish Epilepsy Association Prof. Dr. Nerses Bebek added that the results of the Epilepsy Awareness Research show hope, according to the study in 2018, and that the added value provided by the # See Awareness Campaign for Epilepsy, which is now in its fifth year, is great in this positive change. Under the unconditional support of UCB Pharma, the main message of this year's Look Awareness Campaign for Epilepsy is 'Not being able to read, work, not be successful in business life, not being able to marry, not being able to have children and contagiousness is #WhatAlakasıVar!' Saying that it is in the form of Prof. Dr. Bebek stated that they aimed to raise awareness in all segments of the society with the campaign aiming to change the prejudice and perspective of individuals with epilepsy.
Invitation to social awareness
Prof. Dr. Nerses Bebek invited everyone to take their own photo using the # PurpleGlasses filter on the Look For Epilepsy Instagram page and post them on their social media accounts with the hashtags # EpilepsiİçinBak and # NeAlakasıVar and be a part of awareness.
Meaningful support from Murat Dalkılıç
Explaining that they aim to continue the Look Awareness Campaign for Epilepsy until these prejudices are completely eliminated, Prof. Dr. Bebek also said that this year the campaign ambassador is the famous artist Murat Dalkılıç. Prof. Dr. “It made us very happy that Murat Dalkılıç, who met epilepsy at a young age and spent a period of his life with epilepsy, was our awareness ambassador. We believe that it will be a great example and inspiration for our children and society with epilepsy. As we say individuals with epilepsy can be successful in every area of life and even the entire Turkey recognizes an artist can be very valuable. As long as we get rid of our prejudices that have nothing to do with reality as a society, ”he said.