The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government has charged the general public to give necessary support to persons suffering from epilepsy and desist from the act of discriminating against people with hereditary medical conditions, especially diseases that are not self-imposed.
Sanwo-Olu, who stated this through Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Segun Dawodu, explained that people with epileptic diseases suffer much stigma and discrimination, hence the need for a change of mindset towards them.
The commissioner made the call while declaring open a virtual training programme organised by the ministry for social workers and caregivers themed: “Sensitisation and Training the Trainers on Epilepsy and Its Management.”
Dawodu said it’s a well-known fact that epilepsy is like any other hereditary disease that affects people of all ages, noting that it’s not infectious but called for a stop to the stigmatisation and discrimination against victims of the terrible ailment.
He noted that the virtual training was designed to create awareness and also train social workers and caregivers on how to handle people suffering from epilepsy, adding that this was necessary because of their huge roles in managing and caring for sufferers.
Dawodu, therefore, urged the participants to make judicious use of the training opportunity, describing the facilitators selected for the programme as specialists in their field with years of experience about the disease.
In her contribution at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Yewande Falugba, stated that the awareness programme was to further enhance the knowledge of social workers and caregivers for proper handling of epileptic cases.
Affirming that the wellbeing of citizens is vital for improved productivity, Falugba maintained that the virtual training programme would be rewarding to participants as seasoned experts in the field of neuropsychology discussed important issues about epilepsy.
Also speaking at the training programme, a leading Consultant Neurologist in the state, Seyi Roberts, applauded Lagos State Government for its efforts in creating awareness about the disease, noting that it would go a long way in erasing all erroneous beliefs and misconceptions people have about the disease.
The Chief Executive Officer of Mary Special Needs Foundation, Adedoyin Oseni, expressed optimism that participants would benefit from the experience garnered by her organisation through its dedication to creating awareness on the causes, prevention and management of epilepsy, among others.