Epilepsy is a chronic disease manifested as multiple seizure attacks resulting from excessive electrical discharges in the neurons of brain. The excessive discharge or excitation may remain in a small area of the brain i.e. focal (Partial seizure). The causes of this disease are unknown in around 60%, infections e.g. meningitis, neurocysticercosis, tuberculoma, brain tumors, head injury, birth trauma, metabolic etc.
It can largely be controlled by regular use of appropriate medicines & surgical intervention in few cases. But in our society inadequate health infrastructure, lack of quality medical care & counseling services, existing taboos as well as social stigma regarding epilepsy have resulted in the disease being vastly neglected. In Nepal, very few attempts are made to establish centers which are actively involved in treatment and welfare of epilepsy patient.
The Nepal Epilepsy Association (NEA) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) which strives to raise awareness about epilepsy in Nepal and provides holistic care to patient living with epilepsy. Its establishment in 26/09/1986 became a reality through the encouragement and support of Dr. Kun Hoo Rhee and Dr. C.C. Park, prominent psychiatrists from South Korea, who visited Nepal with the vision of establishing organization similar to Korean Epilepsy Association (KEA). This vision came to reality through a young Nepali doctor, Dr. Sakura Rajbhandari, Dr. Rhee's student in Korea. Since, its establishment, Dr Rhee is continuously providing medicine as well as other supports including yearly medical camps to NEA. However, NEA is presently running on private donations. It has one epilepsy center in Lazimpat (where there are more than 600 registered epilepsy patients) and 50 bedded hospital in Dolkha (Gaurishanker General Hospital) run in coordination with Kathmandu Model Hospital. This General Hospital provides care to not only epilepsy patients but other common diseases. There are more than 1000 epilepsy patient files in Dolkha.
Rcently, NEA with the support from the "Promising Strategies Programme" of the "International Bureau for Epilepsy" has produced a 40 minute long docudrama titled "Juneli-beginning of new life", which intertains with the telefilm and explains about the epilepsy, causes of epilepsy, prevailing taboos and stigma with epilepsy and treatment.
Below is the youtube address to see Juneli Docudrama.