Chapter Name: PHILIPPINE LEAGUE AGAINST EPILEPSY
Report By: Mel Michel Villaluz
Summary of Activities:
1ST PHILIPPINE LEAGUE AGAINST EPILEPSY – CHILD NEUROLOGY SOCIETY JOINT SYMPOSIUM ON STATUS EPILEPTICUS AND 9TH PLAE NATIONAL EPILEPSY CONGRESS
Date: July 17-19, 2017; Venue: Marco Polo Hotel, Cebu; Number of attendees: 381
The three day conference discussed the current and relevant issues in epilepsy including Status Epilepticus - lectures on definitions, classification, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and panel discussion on treatment of SE in the region; Neurobiology of AEDs, the New ILAE classification of seizure types and epilepsies, adolescent issues in epilepsy.
2017 PLAE POSTGRADUATE COURSE: EPILEPSY IN TROPICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES/ MENTAL HEALTHGap WORKSHOP
Date: September 28, 2017; Venue: Marco Polo Hotel, Ortigas; Number of attendees: 125
The postgraduate course discussed the development of epilepsy in association with the common infectious diseases encountered in the country, namely bacterial and tuberculous meningitis, neurocysticercosis, and HIV infection. The afternoon session was a special meeting for the PLAE members introducing the epilepsy module that will be utilized by the Department of Health for training the rural health workers in recognizing seizure types and basics of epilepsy management in a community based healthcare setting.
SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES in Relation to Global Campaign
“BEYOND THE SHAKE” MULTIMEDIA CAMPAIGN
The “Beyond the Shake” Epilepsy Awareness campaign was initiated Dr. Ana Javelosa (PLAE President, 2016-2017). This is PLAE’s response to revitalize the Global Campaign of bringing epilepsy out of the shadows by using social media for information dissemination. Using the Facebook social media platform, the awareness campaign was conducted regularly via providing infographics on the facts and fallacies about epilepsy. Instructional videos on first aid for seizures were featured in the platform and in select movie theaters. Billboard ads were utilized to promote the campaign.
In 2018, the campaign was again promoted during the county’s annual National Epilepsy Awareness Week. This is held during every first week of September since 2001. This year LED billboards in the main thoroughfares were utilized to promote the epilepsy awareness using the motto: “Cease the Seizure.”
Moreover, PLAE volunteer doctors started to hold epilepsy lay fora in the shopping malls with the aim to put epilepsy in the mainstream public awareness. The 1st event was done during the March 26, 2017, World Purple Day, wherein events were held simultaneously in three (3) main malls of the country’s main islands. An Epilepsy summit was held on September 7, 2018 in one of the main malls of Metro Manila in celebrating this year’s National Epilepsy Awareness week. Moreover, multiple short lay fora were held in the different hospitals during this period.
NATIONAL EPILEPSY CAMP
In 2018, the 7th National Epilepsy Camp was help in Miag-ao, Ilo-Ilo. This biennial activity aims to promote improved health care delivery services and quality of life through educating family members, teachers, primary caregivers and rural health workers on epilepsy. There were 431 attendees during this year’s camp
EPILEPSY SCHOOL CARAVAN
In 2009, a teaching module on epilepsy for children in the grade schools was developed by Dr Marilyn Ortiz and Dr. Lourdes Ledesma. The “Happy-Lepsy” jingle was developed to promote a positive outlook for persons with epilepsy. In 2016, the book characters, Epi and Lepsy, were made into mascots to be more engaging for the children during activities.
The objective of this project is to promote epilepsy awareness among children and school teachers with the hope that one day, patients with epilepsy will no longer be discriminated in school. Teachers and students are also taught first aid in handling acute seizures. Since its conception, over a hundred epilepsy caravans have been conducted in public and private schools all over the Philippines.
In July 2018, PLAE has entered a five (5) year partnership with the Bulilit Health Worker Program under the Philippine Medical Association, wherein the Epilepsy module now included in their 5 week national health awareness course for Grades 5 and 6 students.
EPILEPSY MANAGER PROGRAM
The Epilepsy Manager Program was started in 2002. It is brainchild of Dr. Ma. Felicidad Soto, who conceptualized it in response to the glaring lack of specialists or doctors trained to handle epilepsy in the countryside. Its objective is to make available to all Filipino people a doctor who is competent in managing persons with epilepsy at the primary care level, located within a one hour bus ride of their home. This 10-month training program for general practitioners, private or government doctors include an intensive 2 day didactics on epilepsy, establishing an epilepsy clinic in the community, monthly visits from 2 PLAE doctor volunteers to check on the doctors’ progress in handling epilepsy cases and to give further training and a final culminating evaluation. Once completed, the doctor /epilepsy manager is endorsed to the supervision of the nearest neurologist in the region.
In 2017, PLAE volunteers were able to complete the training of six (6) municipal and provincial health workers in the province of Antique.
THE PHILIPPINE MENTAL HEALTH ACT
In June 2018, RA 11036 was signed into law, and this landmark legislation will guarantee access to comprehensive and integrated mental health services, and it ensures protection and the promotion of the rights of persons with psychiatric, neurologic and psychosocial health needs as well as their families. Through the efforts of Dr. Leonor Cabral-Lim (PLAE Past President, 2001-2006), several neurological disorders, especially epilepsy, were included in the expansion and improvement of health care delivery as stated in the law. This will greatly benefit persons with epilepsy and their families as this entail access to comprehensive and integrated mental and neurological health services from the community level up to tertiary hospital level.
Presently, PLAE will continually collaborate with the Department of Health in improving the quality of health care services for persons with epilepsy through education programs for the primary caregivers.
1. 10th NATIONAL EPILEPSY CONGRESS. Theme: “EPILEPSY ACROSS THE AGES – ADVANCING THE SCIENCE, IMPROVING THE CARE.”
DATE – SEPTEMBER 26-28, 2019; VENUE: THE MANILA HOTEL
2. Update on the Status Epilepticus Local Guidelines.
Officer Election Date: September 2019
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