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Date : March 26, 2017

World Purple Day is observed on March 26 every year to create awareness about Epilepsy. On the occasion of World Purple Day, Fortis Comprehensive Epilepsy Centre and Chennai Epilepsy Support Group have organized an awareness walkathon at the Besant Nagar Beach this morning, where Epilepsy patients and more than 150 people participated.

Walkathon witnessed active participation of a wide spectrum of people including Epilepsy Patients, Members of Epilepsy Support Group, working professionals, Senior Citizens, young volunteers and doctors who walked across a 1 km stretch on the Besant Nagar beach road. Awareness leaflets, highlighting the importance of Epilepsy treatments were distributed by the volunteers to general public. Fortis Malar Hospital recently launched Chennai Epilepsy Support Group, which aims to bring together doctors, patients and their families and other stakeholders in one platform to the betterment of patients with epilepsy.

Epilepsy affects all age groups and all socio-economic strata. The highest incidence is in childhood and early adulthood. This has significant impact on the psychosocial, educational and emotional functioning of the individual and the family. By treating these patients early, their quality of life can be restored. “Epilepsy patients can get back to studies, get employed, get married and lead normal lives and contribute to society” said Dr Dinesh Nayak, Head - Fortis Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.

India has around 10 million people with epilepsy. However, only around 60% of patients come for treatment in urban area. This number is even fewer in the rural areas, where only 20-40% of patients receive appropriate treatment. Lack of proper treatment can affect education, psychosocial development and even premature deaths. “Epilepsy is a treatable disease, around 70-80% of patients can be cured with medicines alone. Social stigma around epilepsy needs to be completely removed. Children with epilepsy need good understanding and support by their peers and school teachers” said Dr Lakshminarayanan, Pediatric Neurologist and Epileptologist at Fortis Malar Hospital.

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