BENGALURU: When a 21-year-old college-going woman was diagnosed with epilepsy, freedom became a distant dream for her. Unable to attend college and visit places without constant support, her illness had had started to make her feel distant and isolated from her friends. However, financial support under the state’s flagship universal health scheme— Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka— enabled her to get a surgery, and return to a normal life again.
The young woman was suffering from refractory epilepsy. A benign tumor in the right side of her brain caused repeated episodes of convulsions. She was advised to undergo an excision surgery, but her parents were unable to afford one. Now, after her surgery, the young woman is leading a healthy life and pursuing engineering.
Dr Komal Prasad, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Health, explained, “Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder. In India, there are about 12 million people suffering from this condition. But sadly, many cases remain undiagnosed due to lack of awareness and monetary support.”
She further said that people with epilepsy, who do not receive treatment, suffer from recurrent seizure episodes. “This can affect their studies, their work, and quality of life both for them and their families,” Prasad added.
The young woman’s mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “As a parent, I was emotionally shattered as we did not have monetary support to give her a quality treatment. But we got financial aid through Arogya Karnataka scheme. Today, my daughter is leading the normal life she deserves.”
International Epilepsy Day is celebrated on the second Monday of February (February 11, 2019) as an opportunity to raise awareness about epilepsy. Most of the cases of epilepsy are treatable with medicine after proper diagnosis. In some selective cases, surgery is needed and has a satisfactory result in reduction of seizures.