Epilepsy Support Association Uganda (ESAU) and their work to provide accurate information on epilepsy and COVID-19
Epilepsy Support Association Uganda exists to mobilize, organize, support, skill, care, and advocate for the rights of people with epilepsy to live a dignified life.
In October 2020, ESAU with the support of the IAPO COVID-19 Response Activity Grant, embarked on raising awareness to its members on the effects of COVID-19 in their communities in Uganda.
We embarked on media sensitization campaigns via radio spot messages on epilepsy & COVID -19 on two local radio stations in Jinja and Gomba Districts, and ran these for a period of one month. We reached out to approximately 900,000 Ugandans with this information.
Further to the above, we held 2 radio talk shows with the two radios in the month of November 2020. ESAU reached out to our membership with COVID-19 Information in the two districts, while also reaching out to communities with accurate facts on epilepsy. 20 calls-in were made during these talk shows. The association was able to also provide epilepsy relevant information to 12 media personalities on these radios.
We also provided over 15 television and print journalists with epilepsy facts. The association received over 50 call-ins to the secretariat within this period, with clients from all over Uganda being supported in the care and counselling function. ESAU approximately reached over 2,500 people with accurate epilepsy information based on the coverage of the television and radio stations.
The 2 radio stations run 2 drama skits on epilepsy and COVID-19, and were aired in the month of November 2020. Having a short drama skit has made the listenership more interested and know better about epilepsy and the predisposing factors to COVID-19. And this has been evident when some of the community members called in and confirmed that they indeed knew little about epilepsy. ESAU has since seen an increased number of patients approaching the secretariat for counselling and advice.
We have generally seen a lot of benefits as a result of the radio program that we conducted in 2020. Our sincere gratitude to the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) for supporting ESAU with this grant. We are happy to say that with such support, persons with epilepsy will no longer remain in the shadows but rather be in the light.