National Epilepsy Association of Malawi (NEAM) will on Saturday, February 4 embark on a a 315km walk from Blantyre to Lilongwe with the aim of raising awareness on the disease, end stigma towards it and to raise fund to support people living with epilepsy.
National coordinator, Chifundo Zamadunga-Phiri said the walk is part of the preparation of International Epilepsy Day to be commemorated in Ntchisi on February 13 and the walk falls within the epilepsy week which will start on February 7.
“The main target of this entire event is to raise fund in order to support 50+ million people living with epilepsy globally and to end stigma as well as to raise awareness on epilepsy due to increase in number of people suffering from the disease,” Zamadunga Phiri said.
She added that they support people living with epilepsy through different activities that include creating support groups, providing drugs, monitoring epilepsy clinics and training them on capacity building and advocacy.
“We are training people with epilepsy on how to be economically empowered by supporting them in their different business and farming,” she said.
The epilepsy awareness exercise will consist of 8 walkers (4 men and 4 women) to start from Blantyre City Assembly up to Lilongwe City Council in Lilongwe whereby each and every steps count.
One of the walkers, Moses Sakala said it is very relevant to participate in the event saying awareness of the epilepsy is important and he is proud to be part of the event.
“The contribution is a symbol that people should know more about epilepsy and if we look around, people with epilepsy face a lot of problems like stigma.
“Through this walk, I want to help to eradicate the challenges that these people are facing and I am hoping to put stigma and other challenges to an end.”
He further said he is well prepared to complete the long walk as he anticipates that numbers with people living with epilepsy will decrease due to such awareness and the funds which they will raise will help fight against stigma.