LANDOVER, Md., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Epilepsy Foundation kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month today by introducing new Spanish-language content to offer Hispanics easier-to-access medical information and resources about epilepsy and seizures. The new Spanish-language content on the Epilepsy Foundation's website — epilepsy.com — complements the resources available to everyone impacted by epilepsy, including health education, seizure first aid trainings and toll-free 24/7 Helpline.
There are more than 710,000 Hispanics living with epilepsy in the U.S. Yet, despite its prevalence, people do not completely understand epilepsy. This leads to many misperceptions about the disease and contributes to discrimination, difficulty with diagnosis, and even failure to follow a seizure treatment plan. Although, epilepsy can affect everyone, minority communities have less access to specialized epilepsy treatment and care.
"Latinos face linguistic and cultural barriers to understanding complex medical conditions, now add epilepsy and seizures to the mix and it becomes even more challenging," said Angel Hernandez, MD, division chief, Neurosciences, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital; and editor for Spanish-language content on epilepsy.com. "Culturally appropriate education and resources for people with epilepsy and their families is critical for seizure control and improved quality of life."
The new Spanish-language content provides Hispanics with vital information so that they can learn more about epilepsy, make informed decisions and educate themselves and others on seizure recognition and first aid. In addition to educational content, the Epilepsy Foundation recently rolled out its #StaySafeSide seizure first aid initiative in Spanish — #PermanezcaSeguraDeLado. The initiative highlights how easy it is to help someone who is having a seizure and how these simple steps — Permanezca Segura De Lado (Stay Safe Side) — will help us remember basic seizure first aid.
"We are strengthening our commitment to the Spanish-speaking community by offering in-language content to help families better understand epilepsy," said Laura Thrall, president and chief executive officer, Epilepsy Foundation. "There is a clear need for more accurate, high-quality, epilepsy-related information in Spanish. Our dedicated Spanish-language digital platform also gives us the opportunity to expand our partnerships with other organizations focused on this community so that we can extend our reach among Hispanics."
For years, the Epilepsy Foundation has offered tools and resources in Spanish through its Multicultural Outreach program, which is part of its cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. In addition, the Epilepsy Foundation has partnered with other organizations to promote seizure first aid and extend its reach through social media and public service announcements. The Epilepsy Foundation has also engaged with Hispanic influencers such as artist and songwriter Louis James and fashion and beauty entrepreneur Camila Coelho.
Most recently, the Epilepsy Foundation partnered with the National Hispanic Medical Association to train its members in Seizure First Aid and create awareness about epilepsy through their communications channels.
"The National Hispanic Medical Association looks forward to working with the Epilepsy Foundation on our initial partnership to educate more Latinos about epilepsy," said Dr. Elena Rios, executive director, National Hispanic Medical Association.
To access the Spanish-language content, please visit Epilepsy.com/español.
According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
With a network of nearly 50 partners throughout the United States, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. The Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding $68.7 million for epilepsy research and supporting 3,091 epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. Over the past 18 years, in partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 500,000 school and community personnel in how to recognize seizures and administer seizure first aid. The Foundation has also assisted more than 123,470 people through its 24/7 Helpline in the past five years, and continues to focus on innovation, new therapies, community services, advocacy and education as key priorities. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation