Epilepsy is a medical condition resulting from a brain disorder triggered by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It can affect body movement, function, sensation, awareness as well as behavior. Worldwide, approximately 50 million people are diagnosed with epilepsy with about 10 million in Africa, of which over 240 000 are in Zimbabwe. This means that over 2% of our population lives with this disorder. In the Western world, the prevalence rate is about 0.5%. Those diagnosed with epilepsy and those affected by the condition reach into the millions because the condition touches people’s families, friends and colleagues. This is a significant proportion of the population to ignore, and as such the Epilepsy Support Foundation of Zimbabwe, a member chapter of the International Bureau for Epilepsy, was set up on the 17th of April 1990. The Foundation’s founding member was Nicholas Arthur George who himself had epilepsy and although Nick [as he was passionately known] passed away in 1999, he left an indelible mark as far as epilepsy care and support in Zimbabwe is concerned.

Research studies show that about 86% of people with epilepsy in Zimbabwe are not receiving treatment, yet about 80% of epilepsy cases can be controllable by medication. There is grave social stigma attached to epilepsy with people believing that epilepsy is contagious. Stigma and discrimination have had an influence on the education, training, employment and social life of people with epilepsy and therefore epilepsy remains a major health challenge in Zimbabwe.

Most people with the condition in Zimbabwe lead very unproductive lives. The worst form of it being persistent seizures because those with epilepsy do not avail themselves of treatment because of lack of knowledge that the condition is actually treatable. In other circumstances, the challenges faced by people with epilepsy in the country include lack of family care, community stigma, and discrimination at work, school and other institutions. Shortages of medication, staff and equipment at public health centres hinder compliance to treatment for many, while the cost of these at private centres in very prohibitive.

It is against this background that the Epilepsy Support Foundation is approaching your organization requesting for support to improve the welfare of people living with epilepsy. It is our hope that you will be able to assist us to realize our vision as a Foundation.

Below is a list of areas where you can assist the Foundation in cash, kind or services:

Supplying of anti-epilepsy medication
Administration costs: payment of staff salaries, fuel and maintenance. Salaries are according to National Employment Council Education & Welfare, almost similar to government salaries on average.
Vehicles to use as ambulance, mobile clinic, rural awareness and administration
Improving water and electricity at the Centre by providing a water pump (very reliable deep well already available) and generator.
Clinic equipment, construction and renovation material
EEG machine
Office equipment including commercial printer, DeskJet printer and computers
Development and maintenance of ESF website and internet facilities
Production of awareness material in the form of posters, pamphlets, billboards and t-shirts.
Monetary contribution to rural programmes
Promoting our annual golf tournament by playing, paying for players or donating in cash or kind
Using our typing, printing, computer training and photocopying services
Supporting our employment workshop to centralize and house income generating projects for people with epilepsy who are not employed

Should you wish to assist in any of these areas, please, kindly contact us so that we can discuss the options in more detail. The present vision of the Foundation is to develop the Epilepsy Centre into a Rehabilitation Centre for PLWE offering nursing, medical, social, vocational and economic services. This development would allow the Centre to strengthen its capacity to meet the needs of its members. The Foundation has always depended on the kind support from organisations and people like yourselves. Please note that this list is not all inclusive and your assistance in any form would be appreciated.



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43 St David Road, Hatfield, Harare

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