Monrovia - To increase awareness and reduce stigma surrounding epilepsy, the Carter Center in partnership with the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO) has erected a billboard in Congo Town to reduce public perception about the illness.
Many believe that epilepsy is contagious and as such those going through seizure are many a time left unattended to.
But the Carter Center Project Lead, Dr. Janice Cooper, urged family and friends to support those with epilepsy during seizure by laying them down properly.
Dr. Cooper said, fumes during seizure do not give anybody the illness adding: “It is a myth for anyone to believe so.”
Speaking during the dedication of the billboard, Dr. Cooper further stated that her organization was pleased to turn the billboard over to the Health Ministry.
“On behalf of the Carter Center, we are very pleased to turn this over to the Ministry of Health and the Commissioner of the Township of Congotown,” the Carter Center Project Lead said.
It is her wish that the public information will help people recognize that epilepsy is not contagious.
“We are happy to turn over this billboard to you; we hope that it will help with the education of everyone so that they will recognize that people with epilepsy are not contagious and that they understand what they need to keep people with seizure safe,” Dr. Cooper said.
WHO Mental Health Lead, Barkon Dwah, lauded the initiative adding that WHO remains committed to supporting the Ministry of Health and Carter Center.
“It is a good thing to have this awareness, we actually want to thank you the Health Ministry team for this huge support,” Dwah said.
Dwah continued: “From the WHO, we will continue to give our support to the Ministry and our partner, the Carter Center.”
The Acting Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Jusu Ballah, said the erection of the billboard will decrease the negative public perception of epilepsy.
“People have not received enough education on the cause and prevention of epilepsy,” Ballah added.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer said the billboard is a step forward in the fight against stigmatizing people with epilepsy.
The Acting Deputy Minister for Curative Services at the Health Ministry acknowledged that Carter Center and WHO have continued to play pivotal roles in ensuring that mental health services are delivered to the optimum level in the country.