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Youth on the Move is an organization which empowers youth with epilepsy through innovative awareness actions and bridges the gap between people with epilepsy and health care providers.
We guide youth with epilepsy to build up their skills, stand up for themselves and transform their desires into realistic plans and actions.
It is estimated that in Kenya 2% of the population (over more than 800,000 people) has epilepsy. Therefore, the chance of getting epilepsy is three times higher in Kenya than in developed countries. Many Kenyans confuse epilepsy with witchcraft, demon possession, a worm in the brain and they often think it is contagious and God's punishment. In stead of going for reliable medical treatment, 80% of Kenyans makes use of the herbalist (Daily Nation, April 2009). Only 20% of Kenyans with epilepsy take reliable Anti-Epileptic Drugs (research KEMRI, 2008). This hinders them to equally participate in society. They are often excluded from school, work, church and other social activities. A major challenge of youth with epilepsy is to stand up for themselves and to avoid violence, unsafe sex and unplanned pregnancy. In Zambia 37% of people with epilepsy reported physical abuse from members of their household. This same research revealed that 20% of women with epilepsy have once experienced rape, against 3% of women without epilepsy. In the US, 30% of women with epilepsy got unplanned pregnant before the age of 24 years, a higher rate than in the general population. These findings make it clear to us that the social empowerment of persons with epilepsy is a necessity rather than an addition to the medical care.