It is important to get treatment to control the seizures. However, the majority of people with epilepsy in Kenya do not make use of it. Research done in Kilifi reveals that, 8 out of 10 people with epilepsy don’t take anti-epileptic drugs (Edwards,2 008). Some people deliberately avoid the treatment, whereas others unintentionally don’t take drugs. Let’s take a look at reasons why people could not be taking their drugs:
- Diagnosis: The person may not have gone to the doctor for a diagnosis, or may have visited a doctor but received a miss-diagnosis. As a result, a patient may be prescribed a treatment that is meant for another condition.
- Stigma: Sometimes people who have epilepsy seizures feel embarrassed about it, and even avoid visiting the doctor. Some prefer to deny the condition rather than face the doctor.
- Confidence in Doctors: Many Kenyans have little or no confidence in the local healthcare providers due to past malpractice. According to Community Strategy 2005 many doctors do not pay proper attention when diagnosing and prescribing treatment or explaining medical conditions.
- Availability of Drugs: Even in the cases where epilepsy is correctly diagnosed, the availability of drugs still remains a major challenge. It is therefore important to maintain an adequate stock of the drugs.
- Finances: In developing countries where a good number of the population live under a dollar a day accessing treatment is difficult for many people.
- Ignorance: In some cases the patient doesn’t know just how essential the drugs are. But sometimes they may simply forget to take the medication
- Side effects: Anti-epileptic drugs usually have extensive side effects; in an effort to alleviate these side effects some may possibly stop taking the medication all together.
- Rebellion: Young people are often resistant of authority figures, more so in their teen years. For the youth with epilepsy this rebellion can have untold consequences when it leads them to skip medication.