On February, 10th, 2020 in Kharkiv, Ukraine held an International Epilepsy Day event to support patients.  

This was an initiative of the Bureau of Epilepsy in Ukraine and the Ukrainian League Against Epilepsy, with the endorsement of the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and SI “Institute of Neurology, Psychiatry and Narcology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine”.

International Epilepsy Day was established to draw public attention to the problem, to expand the opportunities of people with epilepsy, and to improve their quality of life.

The event took place at the “Planeta Kino” Cinema at the “French Boulevard” Shopping Mall in Kharkiv with support of a number of government and not-government organizations.

More than 100 participants came to support International Epilepsy day. Cutting-edge specialists of the Neurology, Psychology and other medical institutions of Kharkiv were able to talk with all interested people about the most urgent issues related to the disease. Children were offered entertaining games, animators, workshops, history, chemistry etc. Meanwhile, the Kharkiv branch of the Red Cross provided emergency medical training for epileptic seizures.

The President of the Ukrainian League Against Epilepsy, Andriy Dubenko gave a detailed introduction to the disease, statistics, and encouraged the support of people with epilepsy.

According to Andriy Dubenko:

“For the most part, people with other illnesses tend to feel pity or sympathy. Whereas people with epilepsy cause fear or apprehension. However, 70% of them can live without seizures if they are treated regularly and follow the rules – avoiding alcohol, shimmering light, and others. There are many limitations in our society for epileptics. But even worse is the public opinion about them. For example, teachers insist on an individual teaching curriculum for children with epilepsy. Such social barriers are not regulated by medical laws. So we have to change them” 

During the event, organizers presented an animated movie, created by International Bureau of Epilepsy and translated into Ukrainian by ULAE. The main character Campi, told about his illness. The aim is to use of this video as much as possible to increase awareness about epilepsy among society. Thousands of people have already watched the animation worldwide.

Within the framework of International Epilepsy Day, a seminar and a conference were held in Vinnytsia for psychologists and doctors of different specializations. The main goal of the event is to enhance knowledge on how to care of people with epilepsy. Professor Olga Mostova spoke about providing psychological assistance to epilepsy patients, and the experience of psychological work with them.

We express our sincerely gratitude for support to Kharkiv Regional State Administartion, Kharkiv Branch of the Red Cross, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Kharkiv Medical Academy of Post-graduate Education, Rotary Club, “French Boulevard” Shopping Mall, “Planeta Kino” Cinema, provided us with venue and cinema hall to watch Campi animation, as well as the Mass Media who help us to promote event on regional TV and all involved partners and for sure most of all our patients.

We invite everyone to support patients on International Epilepsy Day in different cities of Ukraine. Keep track of our activities and next time the event will be in your city: http://ulae.org.ua, http://rimon.in.ua

Video footage is available as part of the event and you can click the link to watch interview, video and other materials: