19th National Epilepsy Awareness Week
The UP-PGH Department of Neurosciences celebrated the 19th National Epilepsy Awareness Week last September 1-7, 2020 with the theme: “PPE: Pampandemyang Pangangalaga Para sa Epilepsy”. In line with this, the department hosted two online fora: one for laypeople and one for doctors. This was done in collaboration with the Philippine League against Epilepsy (PLAE) and several participating organizations, such as Christian Blind Mission (CBM), Help Learning Center Foundation Inc., Mental Health PH, NORFIL Foundation Inc., National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) and World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR). For the first time in history, both fora were held virtually due to mass gathering restrictions brought forth by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Epilepsy Lay Forum happened on September 4, 2020 via Facebook Live. Various experts talked about epilepsy care for adults and children, COVID-19 infection, and the psychosocial issues of epilepsy and COVID-19. The speakers were Dr. Kevin Michael Moalong, Dr. Marie Charmaine Sy, Dr. Athena Kate Antonio, Dr. Jeffrey Lappay and Dr. Lourdes Ledesma. Approximately 265 people from different areas of the country attended the said event.
The Doctors’ Forum took place on September 7, 2020 via Facebook Live and Zoom. The forum discussed important and interesting topics that included COVID-19 and seizures by Dr. Marc Laurence Fernandez, telemedicine and epilepsy care by Dr. Rhea Angela Salonga-Quimpo and the psychosocial issues in epilepsy by Dr. Lourdes Ledesma. More than 250 professionals participated in this forum.
Both fora served as part of the department's awareness campaign against epilepsy, which is a treatable disease. Different misconceptions were clarified and relevant questions were answered during the events. The Epilepsy Awareness Week is a strong reminder that even though we are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight against epilepsy will still continue.