Dr. Lawrence A. Zumo, a US-based Liberian Neurologist, has disclosed from research that Epilepsy disease is highly prevalent in Liberia and it is without curable medicine.
According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) data published in 2018, Epilepsy deaths in Liberia reached 83 or 0.25% of total deaths. The age-adjusted death rate is 2.50 per 100,000 population with Liberia ranking 55 in the world.
Dr. Zumo, who is a member of the Fellow American Academy of Neurology, said though the disease is widespread, what is most unfortunate is the lack of capacity of the Liberia’s health sector to provide proper treatment for people afflicted by it.
He said to put the disease under control so that affected people can have the opportunity to make a successful living in the economy, there is a need for early diagnosis and treatment with constant follow-up.
The US-based Liberian doctor has been in the country for the last few days treating people with various kinds of diseases and sicknesses on a free-of-charge basis.
He told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview recently in the Pipeline Road Community in Paynesville that Epilepsy disease is the main focus of the treatment he has been providing to Liberians.
According to him, about 1,500 patients with Epilepsy have been treated by his institution over the last three years.
“I represent the Community of Safe Haven Health Care Delivery Service here in Liberia, and we work to provide health services in seven key areas, especially to treat Epilepsy,” he said.
Zumo said his institution was established in 2018 with the goal of assisting the Government in the health care delivery system.
“Though we started the organization in 2018, the prelude of the activity began back in 1999 when we transported 62 Liberians to Ghana to acquire some skills in health and education,” he narrated.
According to him, the recent intervention in Liberia has benefited more than 300 persons from Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties.
“We are focusing this year mainly on Epilepsy, high blood pressure, stroke, malaria, typhoid and others,” he said.
Dr. Zumo said while in the US, he learned that there were different kinds of diseases and sicknesses that got them to see the need to return and contribute to the health care delivery system in the country.
“We raise money to build a hospital to make an impact on the citizens. We are using our own resources to provide services to our people.”
He said in the next few years they would like to extend services to other counties.
“I think in ten years period we must be able to cover the whole country. This initiative is not for any political ambition but about serving the people. If I can help the citizens get a better understanding of diseases, then, we will be very happy.”
According to Dr. Zumo, they are working in collaboration with the Government through the Ministry of Health to deliver health care to the citizens.
“We are receiving good feedback from the citizens for the work we do,” he said.
Meanwhile, the US-based Neurologist has called on Liberians not to despise people living with Epilysis but treat them with care.
“This disease is not contagious; so, people who are affected by it should not be ostracized. We need to love and care for them so that they can have the opportunity to equally contribute to the economy,” he said.