Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal causing seizures. Epilepsy is underreported in Pakistan as it is associated with substantial social stigma. According to a study done in Pakistan, Childhood epilepsy was found in 7/1000 in rural and urban residents. Up to 66% of epileptic patients were being treated by unqualified persons including paramedics and faith healers. The huge treatment gap of about 88% indicates an urgent need for establishing a Childhood Epilepsy Helpline to provide necessary information about the management of epileptic children and available resources.

Our Mission

  • - To help children and parents fight the challenges of living with epilepsy in Pakistan
  • - To optimize therapy and stop seizures
  • - To offer timely referrals, counter the social stigma and save lives

  • Seeing a child seize is extremely frightening. It is common for parents to feel anxious as another seizure may occur causing permanent harm and even death to their child. Shifaam Childhood epilepsy helpline aims to provide:

  • - Guidance to parents & caregivers
  • - Relevant information
  • - Appropriate medical care
  • - Urgent referrals

  • At Shifaam Childhood epilepsy helpline, calls are answered 7 days a week in Urdu and English. The helpline does not provide medical services, diagnosis, treatment recommendations or laboratory test analysis. Our representatives provide information based upon culturally modified, published materials adopted from the epilepsy foundation and CDC as per Alliance of Information and Referral Systems guidelines.

  • Shifaam Childhood Epilepsy Helpline is operated by the trained information specialists under the supervision of a pediatric neurologist. The Helpline assists parents & caregivers of children living with epilepsy by;

  • - Providing information regarding seizure first aid
  • - Ensuring compliance of the medications
  • - Providing awareness regarding the basics of childhood epilepsy
  • - Answering to questions about epilepsy and seizures in children
  • - Linking parents to resources in the community
  • - Arranging referrals when needed
  • - Getting help paying for medicines for the non-affording patients
  • - Finding mental health resources and connecting parents to the psychologists to help them with the stress
  • - Help with the management of children living with epilepsy so they can lead a normal life

Frequently asked Question

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. Some seizures can look like staring spells. Other seizures cause a person to fall, shake, and lose awareness of what’s going on around them.
A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. Some seizures can look like staring spells. Other seizures cause a person to fall, shake, and lose awareness of what’s going on around them.
Seizure is a symptom while epilepsy is a disease. Anyone can potentially have a seizure but it does not spontaneously mean that they could have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain disorder associated with increased susceptibility to seizures.
For 2 in 3 people, the cause of epilepsy is unknown. This type of epilepsy is called cryptogenic or idiopathic epilepsy. However, some of the known causes for epilepsy are stroke, brain infections, traumatic brain injury (during birth or later in life), hypoxia at birth, brain malformations, brain tumors, genetic disorders (such as Down’s syndrome), and neurologic disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease)
A seizure might last from a few seconds to a few minutes (usually not more than 5 minutes). It depends on the type of seizure.
Seizures are of many different types, a person having a seizure may seem confused or look like they are staring at something that isn’t there, other seizures can cause a person to fall, shake, and become unaware of what’s going on around them. Usually, seizures are split into two major categories: Generalized and Focal (or partial) seizures. Generalized seizures involve the entire brain, on the other hand, Focal seizures only involve one part of the brain.
There are a number of different things that can trigger a seizure, such as mental stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, high-grade fever, flickering/flashing lights, etc. The triggers are different from person to person therefore it is important that a person knows what can trigger their seizure.
Anyone can develop epilepsy. Epilepsy affects people of all ages, races, gender, and ethnic backgrounds.
When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. A doctor’s first tool in diagnosing epilepsy is a careful medical history, followed by thorough examination and few investigations that may or may not include an EEG (electroencephalograph), blood tests, and radiological imaging such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and/or CT (computerized tomography).
Different specialties can diagnose and treat epilepsy. In the pediatric age group, epilepsy is usually diagnosed and treated by a pediatric epileptologist, pediatric neurologist, or pediatrician. In adults, neurologist and family physician usually diagnoses and treats epilepsy.
The most common treatment for epilepsy is medication. There are a number of medications that control different types of seizures. Epilepsy may also be treated with special devices such as a Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS), a special diet, and sometimes brain surgery.
Self-management is what you do to take care of yourself. You can learn how to manage seizures and keep an active and full life. Begin by lowering stress, getting enough sleep, taking your medication on time, keeping a seizure record, recognizing your seizure triggers, and talking with your doctor when you have questions.