Epilepsy Research Underway in the Islands

(PR.co.nz) Epilepsy New Zealand today announced that it had received funding from the IBE (International Bureau for Epilepsy), the world governing body for epilepsy based in Europe, to conduct research in the Pacific Island region in 2012. This research will seek to ascertain the services available to people with epilepsy in the islands and the treatment, if any, they are receiving.

With over two million people living in the region and an estimated 40,000 living with epilepsy, we need to understand the different levels of treatment available, the types of medication, and availability of not only the medication but the care being provided short and long term.

“Our organisation has worked hard over its 56 years here in New Zealand alongside senior health professionals and many Pacific Island leaders, and together with them we can now start to extend our services, starting with this research to the islands and people in need”, said Frank Gouveia, Chief Executive of Epilepsy New Zealand.

Our first step is to find some key people in the islands who know the health system and who will join our team. Our funding will allow us to bring them here to New Zealand to meet with our researchers and Neurologists for training. We therefore call for expressions of interest through our website www.epilepsy.co.nz

“The overall aim of the research is to collect as much data as possible, and build a platform to develop a structure to deliver services focused on epilepsy, and maybe possibly other conditions, teaming up with Neurologists here in New Zealand. These services would be health, medical, support and educational based”, said Mr Gouveia.

The Pacific Islands initially targeted are Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands.