The Health Officer of Nimba County, Dr. Collins Bowah, has described as ‘alarming’ the continued spread of ‘epilepsy’ in the lower Nimba District of Yarwin Mensonnoh.
Speaking to reporters in his office in Sanniquellie recently, he said the situation is becoming worrisome and needs serious attention.
He said the County Health Center is making frantic efforts by distributing free drugs to patients, but the rate at which the disease is affecting people continues to rise, with cases reported in nearly all the towns and villages.
Dr. Bowah added that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is investigating the cause, but couldn’t explain whether the cases add up to an epidemic.
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have two unprovoked seizures (or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more) that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar, according to health authorities.
Dr. Bowah broke silence on the issue in September last year in an interview, where he also talked about the rise in rabies (from dog bites) but said the Ministry of Health was carrying free medical drugs for those affected.
Dr. Bowah disclosed that he has set aside three facilities in Nimba County as holding or treatment centers for an outbreak of any infectious disease.
He named Saclepea, Karnplay, and Kpain as the communities where facilities are located, adding, “These facilities are equipped with manpower in readiness to respond to any situation. Presently, we need additional nurses, pharmacists, doctors, X-ray technicians to cope with the workload in the many health facilities in the county.”
In a related development, early this year citizens expressed concern over the growing rate of mental illness in the county on a community radio station talk show program.