The Gbm Foundation

The Gbm Foundation for epilepsy and mental wellbeing recently launched a campaign project for inclusive education of young epileptics. This project consists in proper diagnosis & treatment of epilepsy in youth of pre-school and school age aimed at eliminating the seizures and beating the stigma by implementing an integrated health and social care of epileptics in schools.

The Gbm and MHA teams

The Gbm and MHA teams

First phase:

  • Diagnostic consultations through electroencephalographs and, prescription or review/revision of anti-epilepsy drugs that are specific to the type of epilepsy diagnosed.
  • The Report for this phase can be read here:

Second phase:

Fighting various forms of stigma and discrimination against sufferers and their families:

  • Introduction of the “Teachers’ handbook of Epilepsy” aimed at educating the teachers who will in turn educate the school community on epilepsy and how to handle a student who is having a seizure. The teachers and the school community are “care-givers” and as such, will take the lead in fighting and eliminating the stigma and rejection in the school milieu. The handbook contains tools that will be used in contributing towards monitoring and improving the treatment of the patients. Sensitization and education in the school will contribute towards the elimination of some beliefs that are linked to superstition and prejudices which very often result in the stigmatization and rejection of epileptics leading to their dropping out of school.

Third Phase:

  • Fight against the stigma and advocacy in Lebialem
  • Monitoring and evaluation.

The Foundation is currently collaborating with Dr. Cyrille NKOUONLACK, the neurologist at the Buea regional hospital who has visited Lebialem and carried out diagnostic consultations to a pilot group of 56 epileptics. This pilot group was mostly made up of young people between the ages of 10 to 25 years who have dropped out of school because of epilepsy and a few others who are in primary and secondary schools who may or may not be on treatment but are suffering from seizures. He carried out Electroencephalograms ((EEGs) at half its price, (15,000 FRS instead of 30,000 FRS) per person. The foundation paid for the amount due as the patients and their families are generally very poor and have typically barely been able to afford the monthly dose of phenobarbital that cost just 1,000 FRS.

Partners:

  1. The ministry of Social Affairs through the South West Regional Delegation for Social Affairs

  1. The ministry of Public Health through the South West Regional Delegation for public health

  1. The ministry of Basic Education through the Divisional Delegation for basic Education

  1. The ministry of Secondary Education through the Divisional Delegation for Secondary Education

  1. Mary Health of Africa Hospital (MHA) Fontem Lebialem Division

The MHA hospital is the hosting partner and is the most credible health institution in the Division. It has agreed for this project to attend to the following:

  • Identification and registration of the patients;

  • Provision of logistic support such as a hall for campaign & education and the consultation and testing office for the neurologist;

  • Dispensing and or sale of medication to the patients upon receipt of the prescriptions;

  • Collaboration with the neurologist to monitore and evaluate the patients;

  • Follow up feedback/report to the foundation.

Target Beneficiaries For Phase One

An initial pilot group of 56 people,  mostly made up of young people between the ages of 10 to 25 years who have dropped out of school because of epilepsy and a few others who are in primary and secondary schools who may or may not be on treatment but are suffering from seizures.