Kenyan Gov't marks Purple Day by launching the National Epilepsy Guidelines; my speech

10:43:00 PM

Addressing government officials, WHO reps and various epilepsy stakeholders 
Yesterday was Purple Day and it was a pretty long day for me, I had two events; the government one in the morning and my own gig in the evening. I will split the day into two posts, so be sure to read the one I do after this one. I had the honor and privilege to speak during the National Epilepsy Guidelines launch and here is my speech.

My name is Sitawa Wafula and I have had epilepsy since I was in my final year in high school, some 11 years ago. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the government of Kenya and the various stakeholders in epilepsy for the effort put to see the launch of this document. I would also like to commend them for recognizing that there is nothing for us without us, that people living with epilepsy need to sit at the table where legislation and decisions affecting us are made. 

It is an honor and a privilege to stand before you this morning and more so on purple day, a day set aside to raise awareness on epilepsy and get people talking about it hence dispelling the myths that surround the illness and informing those like me that we are not alone; a feeling that each one of us yearns for, 
A feeling that the government of Kenya and the various stakeholders who have spent years working on this document have brought to life,
A feeling that every parent, friend, lover and neighbor needs to give to people living with epilepsy around them,
A feeling that is the shoulder on which people like myself stand tall on.

Contrary to popular belief, epilepsy is not a death sentence or something that prevents one from dreaming and aiming high. I recently moved out on my own, run a successful advocacy program, won 2 awards, serve as an assistant secretary in the National Epilepsy Coordination Committee and most of all enjoy everyday life despite having epilepsy.

I would like to urge the government and the various stakeholders to have awareness creation as an agenda for the next event where Purple day will be marked by increased number of people seeking treatment, availability of that treatment and decreased stigma levels, something I am sure this document will help deliver.

I was to speak as the four person but I had a seizure thanks to the many flashing cameras but I am so excited that they gave me a second chance right before they unveiled the document, otherwise this post would have been titled, the speech i never got to finish. See pictures on the event here

How did you celebrate Purple Day?

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