Chapter Spotlight: Philippines
The PLAE is a non-profit national organization of professionals committed to the improvement of the quality of life of persons with epilepsy through education, research, prevention, advocacy and delivery of optimal health care. The organization was founded in 1997, and in 1999 was accepted as the national chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy in the Philippines. PLAE is acknowledged as the expert source of information and continuing professional education in the care of persons with epilepsy in the Philippines.
Philippine League Against Epilepsy 1997
Mission: We are committed to Pioneer, Lead, Advocate and provide Epilepsy Care.
Vision: To be the champion of every Filipino with Epilepsy.
- The dissemination and advancement of knowledge concerning epilepsies among medical and other professionals whose field is related to epilepsy.
- The promotion of training, research and prevention concerning the epilepsies.
- The improvement of health care and the quality of life of persons with epilepsy.
To date, the organization has 263 active members, with regional representation all throughout the Philippines.
Founding of the Philippine League Against Epilepsy, 1997
In the 1980s, the first group of neurologists with subspecialty training in neurology started returning to the country from their fellowship studies in the United States. Eager to disseminate what they had learned to the local community of neurologists as well as to the public, they together with some colleagues, formed "The Epilepsy Society of the Philippines." However, after two elections, the society became inactive. Attempts to reactivate the organization did not materialize until 1996 upon the initiative of Dr. Martesio Perez.
Dr. Perez convinced a core group of neurologists consisting of former members of the society to reorganize. Certain restrictions from the Securities and Exchange Commission prevented the use of the former name of the organization, so the new organization was named "Philippines League Against Epilepsy." The Constitution and By-Laws were drafted by the group on June 18,1997 at the Mimosa Golf Resort in Angeles, Pampanga, PLAE.
Ratification of the PLAE Constitution and By-Laws, 1998
On February 11, 1998 the PLAE Constitution and By-Laws was ratified by the General Assembly during a meeting at the Philippine Columbian Association. This ratified version of the Constitution was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on March
20, 1998. In November 1998, there were already 82 members.
The First Annual Business Meeting was held at the EDSA Shangrila Hotel in Mandaluyong on November 22, 1998.
The first plans were bold and daring, and sounded more like wishful thinking. Big dreams were made by people who were prepared to do whatever it took to reach the goal. There was so much to be done to improve epilepsy care in the country. View Photos
1998: PLAE registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission
1999: Official affiliation with ILAE
In 1998, the PLAE applied to become the national chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy. It was given probationary membership by the International League pending certain constitutional amendments. An emergency constitutional convention was held at the Pearl of the Pacific Resort at Boracay Island on May 28,1999 to address this issue. The constitutional amendments were finally submitted and were approved to the ILAE in May 1999 which was approved by the ILAE Executive Committee one month after. The PLAE was finally presented to the ILAE body and given full rights and privileges as a member during the International Epilepsy Congress in Prague, Czech Republic on September 1999.
The Vision of the PLAE is to be the champion of every Filipino with Epilepsy.
The Mission of the PLAE is Pioneer, Lead, Advocate and provide Epilepsy Care.
Leadership is through an Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, and committee and program chairs.
National Epilepsy Congresses
National Epilepsy Congresses have been held biennially since 2001. They provide updates on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, comorbidities, quality of life issues in epilepsy through high level symposia, plenary lectures, panel discussions, interactive sessions to epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and other medical and allied medical professionals engaged in the care of persons with epilepsy.
In addition, national lay symposia have been held bienially back to back with each national congress since 2002.
National Epilepsy Awareness Week
Presidential proclamation 230 on August 24, 2002 declared the first week of September each year to be "National Epilepsy Week." The themes each year are derived from the national epilepsy campaign and the global epilepsy campaign. View Awareness Week photos.
Awareness Week Objectives
To increase public and professional awareness of epilepsy as a universal and treatable brain disorder, raise epilepsy to a new plane of acceptability in the public domain, promote professional education about epilepsy, identify the needs of people with epilepsy at national and regional levels, and to encourage government and the Department of Health to address the needs of people with epilepsy, including awareness, education, diagnosis, treatment, care, services and prevention
Public Awareness Volunteers for Epilepsy (PAVE Project)
Also established in 2002, PAVE consists of PLAE members who are committed to implementing the National Epilepsy Campaign in their areas. PAVES hold at least 2 lay seminars in their provinces per year to help train leaders and organize patient support groups.
More National Projects
PLAE also initiated the following national projects:
Epilepsy Exemplar Awards
Since 2004, PLAE has recognized exemplary persons with epilepsy who have succeeded in their fields of endeavor despite their condition.
Epilepsy Manager Program
This is a pilot program of the PLAE Committee on Medical Education. 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.
National Epilepsy Camp
This camp is held every 2 years in different regions of the country, for PWE, their families/ caregivers, primary physicians, nurses, barangay health workers, teachers, and pharmaceutical persons. Its objective is to improve health care and the quality of life of persons with epilepsy through education.
Epilepsy School Caravan
This program promotes epilepsy awareness among school-aged children to lessen the stigmatization and bullying suffered by children with epilepsy in schools. It also seeks to inspire these school-aged children to become advocates for persons with epilepsy.
The Bridges Project
Bridges provides the framework to fill in the gaps in epilepsy care in the Government health care system. It invites volunteers from PLAE members to hold regular weekly epilepsy clinics in their communities to serve the indigent patients with epilepsy; implement the referral system prescribed by the PLAE for indigent patients; and contribute data to the National Epilepsy Registry project.
International and Regional Activities
PLAE is active on the regional and international level. They are involved with the department of health, the Commission on Asian and Oceanian Affairs (CAOA), International Epilepsy Day, publications in peer reviewed journals, and more.
More PLAE Activities
In addition, the PLAE is active in many other programs and initiatives, including:
- The Tripartitie Symposium on medical marijuana in epilepsy
- The Vision-Mission-Values Planning Workshop
- Epilepsy Patient Registry
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