Knowledge and Beliefs of the General Public towards Epilepsy and the Discriminations of People with Epilepsy in Ethiopia

Padmanabhan Murugan, Tadele Workineh

Abstract


This study examines knowledge and beliefs of the general public about epilepsy and the discriminations of people with epilepsy. Employing qualitative research methods data were collected from both the general public and people with epilepsy of two purposively selected kebeles in Mizan Teferi town. Twenty four non-epileptic household heads (twelve from each kebele) and ten informants of people with epilepsy were purposively selected in order to gather information on their beliefs and knowledge about epilepsy and the discriminations of people with epilepsy. In addition, key informant interviews were conducted among eligible general public such as religious heads, community elders and government officials in the study areas to gather additional data on the issue under investigation. Study findings indicate that people in the study areas believe epilepsy is caused by evil spirit. It is a transmittable and trans-generational disease that it could be inherited from parents. As a result, the general public in the study areas develop negative attitudes against people with epilepsy. The non-epileptics avoid having marriage relations with the epileptics; they do not allow the children of people with epilepsy to learn along with the children of the general public. People with epilepsy are found as incompetent and hence they are denied employment opportunities and are outcast from the community.


Keywords


epilepsy; beliefs; discrimination

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/isr.v10i1.270

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ISSN 2239-8589 | Managing Editor: Debora Viviani | Editor in Chief: Paola Di Nicola
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