The Gbm Foundation and Centre for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing, was set up by Mrs Bibiana Taku in memory of her son Gabriel Bebonbechem. He lived and died at the prime age of 33, after having spent 18 years as an epileptic and eventually a mentally challenged. He was full of talents and potential, but his dreams, hopes and aspirations, were brought to a halt by his medical and stigmatised condition. In the words of his sister, he was a genius who ended up a simpleton, and she shares salient aspects of his perilous journey in the memoir published after his demise.
The Gbm Foundation and Centre for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing, therefore seeks to contribute towards the fight against all forms of stigma, rejection and abuses of epileptics and mentally ill, as well as towards the achievement of Gabriel Bebonbechem’s dream posthumously.
The Gbm Foundation for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing has identified different projects and programs for the implementation and execution of its goals, objectives and the attainment of its mission. It has equally identified various program outlines, methods and strategies which will be used to achieve its goals vis à vis its Country strategic plan.
The Foundation seeks and collaborates with various stakeholders in the epilepsy and mental health community. Such partners include other similar foundations and associations, advocacy communities, medical experts, schools, different stakeholders including government services, and other men and women of good will.
The Gbm Foundation for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing is among the pioneer of such outreach and advocacy initiatives in the geographical region of Cameroon in Africa. There is so much potential and advantage for the creation and sustainability of such a laudable programme and subsequent projects, because of the impact which could be derived from the implementation of its different programs.
There is no doubt about the ravages of epilepsy and mental illness in our societies. The sufferers, their families, other care givers like the school communities, and society as a whole, go through so much pain with each new case of an undiagnosed or diagnosed epileptic or mentally disordered. Even the medical community is still at a loss with regards to any conclusive research and findings on the causes of such debilitating disorders, nor the best treatments and management protocols for such patients.
Social and appropriate medical public policies are still largely wanting in Africa, and a recent survey by WHO of 45 African countries, revealed that only 19 of them had any relating policies in place. This leaves much to be desired, hence the Foundation’s collaboration with government services in place.