Disability activist proposes creation of Zambia Agency for Persons with Epilepsy

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Programme Director for the Zambia Disability HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Programme (ZAMDAP) Elijah Ngwale has called for the establishment of the Zambia Agency for Persons with Epilepsy (ZAPE).

Mr. Ngwale said as Zambia joins the rest world in commemorating World Epilepsy Day tomorrow, there was need to create an agency that would look at the plight of people with epilepsy.

He said people around the globe are tomorrow expected to wear purple and spread the word about epilepsy.

Mr. Ngwale has also called on the Epilepsy Association of Zambia (EAZ) to lobby for policies, programmes and the enactment of laws to protect the rights of person with epilepsy in order to end discrimination surrounding the condition.

He told ZANIS that currently, Zambia has no formal government sponsored policies, programmes and laws that talk about persons with epilepsy.

Mr. Ngwale, who is blind, noted that epileptic people need to enjoy and exercise their rights just like the disabled and other marginalised groups.

He further observed that persons with epilepsy need rehabilitation, jobs, recreation and other rights hence the need for the establishment of an agency that will speak on their behalf.

Mr. Ngwale said like the persons with disabilities who have the Zambia Persons with Disability (ZAPD), people with epilepsy need an agency which he said should be established by an act of parliament.

He said if established, the Zambia Agency for Persons with Epilepsy will works on ending discrimination surrounding epilepsy by getting lead of roles that are discriminatory in nature.

World Epilepsy day, which is also known as Purple Day, is a grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide.

On 26 March each year, people from around the globe are asked to wear purple and spread the word about epilepsy.

Purple Day was founded in 2008 by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada after she was motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy in an effort to get people talking about the disorder and inform those with seizures that they are not alone.

She named the day Purple Day after the internationally recognised colour for epilepsy.