Wrong TRADITIONS including evil spirits, religious issues contribute to 75 percent of people with epilepsy being sent to local healers instead of hospitals.

This was said today February 12, 2024 by the Chairman of the Tanzania Neurological Association (TNA), Professor William Matuja at the World Epilepsy Day Conference held on February 12 every year in Tanzania, held in the hall of Ummy Mwalimu at Muhimbili National Hospital.

He said that the majority of people in the country have misconceptions about epilepsy, where more than 36 percent still believe that epilepsy is caused by dark forces, as a result more than 75 percent of adults and children suffering from epilepsy are referred to traditional healers and leaders spiritual first, thus causing delays in modern hospital treatment.

He has said that epilepsy is treatable and that delay in receiving treatment on time causes difficulty in controlling it.

He says 26 percent of epileptic patients have physical problems due to an untreated heart attack, including scars, burns, contractions, dislocated joints, especially shoulders, head injuries and premature deaths.

Prof. Matuja has said, the symptoms of epilepsy occur because of neurological disorders, which occur suddenly and end suddenly.

"Epilepsy is a disease caused by an error or injury in the brain, which causes the patient to fall, to faint or not faint and sometimes to foam at the mouth," said Prof Matuja and added

"When an error occurs in one part of the brain, here the patient does not lose consciousness, but he may not know what he is doing," he said.

He said there are more than 60 million people living with epilepsy worldwide. That Africa is the continent that is most affected by the problem of epilepsy, where in 1,000 people, between 20-50 people live with that problem.