Epilepsy guide translated into Ukrainian to help refugees

Epipicto will be available to those fleeing the war, both in Britain and in other European countries.

15 April 2022

An easy-to-understand guide to living with epilepsy has been translated into Ukrainian to help people with the condition escaping the war-torn country.

Epipicto is a pictorial guide first produced in 2019, and last month when the war in Ukraine began, translators got to work producing a Ukrainian and Polish version to support refugees as well as those in countries they are fleeing to.

Shirley Maxwell, executive director of Epilepsy Connections, said: “We knew that the crisis in Ukraine would hit people with epilepsy hard. Shortages of lifesaving anti-seizure medication and lack of access to care and advice has put them at terrible risk.”

The guide targets adults with low levels of literacy and refugees arriving in Europe and the UK with little knowledge of the local language.

Epipicto had originally being available in six languages – Dutch, English, French, German, Maltese and Spanish – and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde helped fund the latest edition.

The guide has been translated from English into Ukrainian (NHSGGC/PA)

Craig Broadfoot, general manager for neurosciences at the health board, said: “People fleeing Ukraine need all the support we can give them, and these new Epipicto resources are a simple but important support for people living with epilepsy who have been forced to flee their homes.”

The guides are now already in use in Poland and Germany and could become an important support tool for Ukrainians who come to live in the UK.

Ideas for Epipicto’s content were generated and refined by people with epilepsy and their relatives and reflect what patients need to know, particularly at the point of diagnosis.

The guide is not designed to provide specific information, its creators said, but to start conversations about epilepsy and support people to find the help they need to live well.

Topics include what epilepsy is and what it is not, types of seizures, epilepsy first aid, and information for families and friends.

The guide is also in use in a number of colleges in Scotland to help students with additional support needs.

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