Kenya has in the recent past experienced changes in the health sector. Universal Health care was recently rolled out in four counties. There has been an increased focus on Non communicable diseases given the disease burden. However, epilepsy continues to be missed out as it affects a smaller population. More than 1,200,000 Kenyans live with epilepsy and approximately 768,000 (64 %) of them don’t make use of anti-epileptic drugs.
Access to effective treatment is expensive for most persons living with epilepsy coupled with ignorance and misconceptions associated with the condition. Beliefs such as epilepsy is witchcraft, demon possession or punishment for wrong doing pushes those affected to seek alternative treatment like spiritual rituals. Due to the ineffective nature of such treatments, persons with epilepsy end up battling mental effects as a result of living with a condition that attracts stigma and rejection. The consequence is a life in social isolation and financial dependency that results in poverty cycle and worse off mental retardedness.
Fortunately Youth on the Move (YotM) has developed strategies to improve this situation. Eleven years ago Kenyan youth with epilepsy initiated Youth on the Move (YotM) to develop opportunities for their future. YotM offers epilepsy trainings, personal coaching, and connects youth with epilepsy with researchers, policy makers and health providers. Together they achieve the best possible approach to control their epilepsy seizures and to create opportunities for a pro-active participation in society through other innovative awareness creation in communities.