ASLEK: Epilepsy Awareness Foundation for the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation is proud to work with ASLEK to help improve the lives of those battling epilepsy in the Democratic Republic of Congo. ASLEK was founded by Dr. Prince Kazadi, a neurologist who provides support to families and individuals battling epilepsy. Many people in the Democratic Republic of Congo lack health care services. What is harder, government restrictions that are in place prevent people with epilepsy from obtaining an education or employment, making them completely dependent on their families.
Together we have created the project Defeating Epilepsy in Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo. This will be a long-term project. Our project will consist of the following goals:
Goal I- Education
We will be working with Dr. Kazadi to help train primary doctors about what epilepsy is, what happens during a seizure, proper treatment, and when they need to send a patient to a neurologist. Currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are 600,000 patients battling epilepsy, but only eight neurologists. Many are not receiving the care that they need. By offering training to doctors and nurses, we are working to increase education and awareness and improve patient care.
Goal II- Medication
Currently, it is very difficult for patients to get medication. We are working with ROW Foundation and others to help patients get access to medication. One of the biggest challenges for patients is getting the proper care due to costs. Medication for epilepsy is not covered by any insurance and patients must pay cash for their medication, putting many in a situation of do they buy their meds or pay for food? We are working with ROW Foundation to end the lack of access and improve medical care.
Goal III- Nutrition
Due to Covid 19, the boarders of neighboring countries have been shut to prevent the spread of the virus. Due to this, there is now a lack of food. Zambia, a neighboring country, is one of the main food suppliers for the Democratic Republic of Congo. At The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation, we are creating a nutritional program for children with epilepsy, ages 0-10 to receive non-perishable foods on a monthly basis, to prevent malnutrition and starvation. Children with epilepsy are already facing hardship and we want to work to make sure they have the nutrition they need.
Goal IV- Clean Water/Energy
The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation’s goal is to help find an off the grid organization to help put in an off the grid solar panel. Many of these companies can put in these panels which are maintained by the citizens in the area and they provide clean water and energy. The goal is to put one in the area for the rural clinics to have clean water for patients and refrigeration for emergency medication. Right now, patients who have prolonged seizures, their families have to take them by bus to the clinic in the city for emergency medication. It is a 12-hour journey, and puts the patient at risk of not surviving the journey. We want clinics to have access to the medication so patients can go to a nearby clinic and we can prevent any unnecessary deaths.
We thank ASLEK and Dr. Kazadi for their dedication to their patients and all of the hard work they are doing to help the community. We thank ROW Foundation for their dedication to help provide medication so that patients with epilepsy have access to the care they need. We will continue to work on all of these goals until they are met. We invite our supports to follow our journey and support us as we work towards our goals. Thank you for your support and together we will defeat epilepsy.
The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation is honored to work with non-profit foundations at an international level to help those battling epilepsy globally. Coming together and helping one another will be the first step in removing the stigma associated with epilepsy and bringing awareness to others worldwide.