President Epilepsy Foundation Pakistan and noted neurophysician of the country Dr Fowzia Siddiqui on Sunday voiced a serious concern on rising epilepsy cases in young people and demanded of the government to provide subsidy to the epilepsy medicines.

Epilepsy Foundation Pakistan in collaboration with AGP Pharma organized a two-day free epilepsy camp in Gulshan e Iqbal, where free of cost screening, tests and medicine facilities were provided to the deserving patients.

Talking to media on the occasion, Dr Fowzia Siddiqui said that rising epilepsy cases in younger people is quite worrisome. She said more than 60 percent of patients that attended this medical camp were aged less than 20 years.

She said epilepsy is a treatable mental disease that affects 2.5 percent of population. Presently, there are some 2.5 million epilepsy patients in Pakistan.

She said that there are a lot of misconceptions about this disease in our society. Many people think that these patients are under some evil spell, which is untrue. The female patients of epilepsy have to suffer a lot as they face difficulties in marriage. However, the fact is that these patients could marry and produce children, as their disease could be controlled with medicines.

Fowzia regretted that some medications and tests for this disease are very costly and many patients could not afford them. Some patients need medicines costing Rs30000 to Rs50000 per month for their treatment which is not affordable for most of them. Moreover, artificial shortage of epilepsy medicines is another big issue for the patients.

She said Epilepsy Foundation Pakistan is holding free medical camps every month with help of Pharma companies to assist the patients.

Fowzia requested the government to give the status of life saving drugs to epilepsy medicines and provide subsidy to them to facilitate the poor patients.