Because poverty and the epilepsy treatment gap go hand-in-hand, the ROW Foundation was delighted when Dr. Prince Kazadi reached out to us regarding a partnership in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC is often called “the poorest rich country in the world” because of its rich resources coupled with extreme poverty, with 77% of the population living on less than $1.75 a day.
In 2015 Dr. Kazadi organized ASLEK Epilepsy Foundation in Lubumbashi, the DRC’s second largest city. He sees the effects of stigma on people with epilepsy. They are shunned socially, and sometimes endure physical, psychological or sexual abuse at home or in the community. Poor patients face difficult choices between buying medication, feeding their families, or paying school fees. ASLEK provides support for patients and families, educates the public through schools and community campaigns, and lobbies for better conditions from government.