CareEpilepsy continues to make an impact on communities in Ethiopia. The following sets out the positive changes we have made to the lives of children and adult living with epilepsy in Ethiopia.
Facilitated the delivery of complete care in a primary health care setting. In partnership with the Bench Maji Zone health office, we established epilepsy service in Guraferday woreda which has treated 1700 people with epilepsy so far.
We covered the cost of anti-epileptic medications for over 50 patients who were not receiving medical care or unable to purchase medication.
Increased the capacity of health professionals to deliver good epilepsy care. 50 health care professionals knew more about epilepsy and its impact on an individual life after service delivery workshop.
- Improved the well-being of people with epilepsy
- 278 people with epilepsy were helped to become self-motivated to access and receive epilepsy care by attending hospital for the first time in Addis Ababa.
- We established an epilepsy counselling service to provide practical advice to people with epilepsy and their families to cope with the challenges of living with epilepsy. The 170 people who used our counseling services felt they have confidence, knowledge, skills, and support they need to manage their epilepsy effectively.
- 10 people were assisted to acquire “the poorest of the poor identification card” (a government system to identify the poor as beneficiaries) which enables them to receive their anti-epileptic medication free of charge.
- We established CareCraft, an income-generating programme, which supports people with epilepsy economically, thereby promoting their self-sufficiency and respect by their communities. It provided training in life skills, vocational skills, and self-management skills for people with epilepsy. We had to discontinue this programme due to lack of funding. 100% of women who were involved in CareCraft training felt empowered and their self-esteem increased.
- Patient Support Group meeting
- We set up a patient support group which meets monthly to provide clinical information about epilepsy and living with epilepsy to help people with epilepsy have improved knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and practices in relation to epilepsy to achieve improved wellbeing.
- 93% of patient support group attendees felt less isolated and part of a larger community of people with epilepsy
- 75% of patient support group attendees felt more confident discussing epilepsy with healthcare professionals
- 25% of patient support group attendees felt more confident being open about their epilepsy.
- Coffee for Epilepsy Education. This is a social and empowerment project we host a number of presentations around the topic of self-management, self-esteem, they recite poems and do craft activities. This programme runs the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 9 am – 1 pm at CareEpilepsy Ethiopia’s office.
- Established an Epilepsy telephone 24/7 Helpline
- Our telephone helpline continued to offer up-to-date epilepsy-related information such as a list of care providers, we have served.
- 78 new people were helped through our helpline.
- Established Youth for Epilepsy Ethiopia group. We have established Youth for Epilepsy Ethiopia volunteering programme which consists of high school pupils and university students from different backgrounds. The aim of the group is to change community attitudes towards epilepsy to dispel stigma. By using younger and fresher minds CareEpilepsy Ethiopia can find fun and creative ways of boosting awareness and raising money.
- Developed community outreach programs
- We used media outlets to raise awareness in Addis Ababa, Tigray, and Southern region.
- Training in Addis Ababa – 150 volunteers received a half-day in-house training course on epilepsy.
- Through ‘School Epilepsy Champions’ initiatives we visited 27 schools, raised awareness and gave epilepsy First Aid training and medical information about epilepsy.
- Organize educational campaigns
- We campaigned for epilepsy to bring down the barriers and raise awareness of epilepsy in the community and in other professions using walk, the media, and social media.
- In Mekele (the capital of Tigray Region, located 800 kilometers north of Addis Ababa) we were able to secure the active participation of the regional health bureau and Mekele University during the first national epilepsy week campaign of 2016.
- Epilepsy information leaflets and posters, written in both Amharic and Tigrinya languages spoken in the region, were distributed in the city of Mekele and in the Mekele University.
- A two-day, live, phone-in on FM 102.2 station which covers all of Tigray in which questions by the public were answered by a renowned neurologist.
- Epilepsy Information leaflets were sent out to the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region Health Bureau to be distributed in district hospitals and health centres.
- We had speaking opportunities at various government hospitals and health centers and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Ethiopia.
- We produced and distributed a video to show the extent of epilepsy and the devastating effects it has on people’s lives in Ethiopia.
- 4 National Epilepsy Week to raise epilepsy awareness were celebrated in partnership with the Ministry of Health and regional health offices.
- Advocacy and Partnership
- We have initiated partnerships with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, Addis Ababa City Administration Health Bureau, Bureau of Finance and Economic Development (BoFED), Yeka Sub-city, and Bench Maji Zone and have signed a memorandum of understanding to achieve greater prioritization for epilepsy.
- A network of 5 empowered people with epilepsy and 1 community member formed a group as patient advocates. They support the work of CareEpilepsy and promote their rights as they navigate through the epilepsy care system.[/su_list]