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108 Epilepsy emergency cases @ Peebles Hospital in past 5 years - CEO

Chief Executive Officer of Peebles Hospital Ms Paula G. Chester-Cumberbatch (left) has commended the humanitarian work of Jaleel F. Cameron (right). Photo: VINO
Team Jaleel! Photo: VINO
Team Jaleel! Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The significance of having an EEG machine and the requisite expertise to effectively use it were brought out by Chief Executive Officer of Peebles Hospital Ms Paula G. Chester-Cumberbatch, when noting that some 108 persons were admitted to the hospital over the past five years for Epilepsy.

"In the BVI for the past five years we have recorded 108 admissions to the Emergency Department, or approximately .3% of the population, with an annual average of four children under the age of nine years treated. And for adults between the ages of 24 to 64 years, we saw an average of 13 admissions per year," she said.

The hospital chief was speaking at the launch of the Jaleel Cameron Foundation held at Treasure Isle in Road Town on June 3, 2017 where she had another opportunity to officially recognise and celebrate the work that Jaleel has been diligently doing to assist in the provision of services at Peebles Hospital for persons either having seizures or have been diagnosed with Epilepsy.

Ms Chester-Cumberbatch noted that the challenges with Epilepsy and seizures, is that there is insufficient research being carried out worldwide on the root-cause for improved treatment. She said that the latest facts from a coalition group called “CURE” – Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy are: it is estimated that 3 million persons in the US and 65 million persons worldwide currently live with Epilepsy. Each year approximately 200,000 persons are diagnosed with Epilepsy. 

In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with Epilepsy and seizures the cause is unknown. Approximately 50,000 deaths occur in the US due to Epilepsy and seizures including seizure-related deaths such as drowning and accidents as well as sudden unexpected deaths in children. Epilepsy costs the US approximately $15.5 billion dollars each year and the indirect costs associated with uncontrolled seizures are seven times higher than that for all chronic diseases. Based on this information it means approximately .9% of the US population are afflicted.

No clear data for VI

However, she added, just as in the US and worldwide, data on Epilepsy is not clear as admissions do not mean the actual numbers of persons with Epilepsy and, due to the varying causes for seizures, not everyone is diagnosed, as some causes are fevers, trauma to the head, lack of oxygen or illness.

"As such the work of Foundations, such as CURE and the new Jaleel Cameron Foundation is critical and needed," Chester-Cumberbatch said.

"When we unveiled the Donor Wall on April 21st we commended the Minister of Health and Social Development, the Honourable Ronnie Skelton, for launching the New Peebles Hospital Pledge Programme to allow persons and businesses the opportunity to donate towards outfitting the Clinical Units/Wards, and towards General Building Infrastructure for the hospital. It was noted that the Pledge Programme had realized in excess of $2.3 Million dollars in donations. One significant contributor was Jaleel Cameron, our youngest donor to the Programme."

Jaleel’s contribution ‘significant’

According to Ms Chester-Cumberbatch, factors that made his donation significant are Jaleel’s age, the manner in which the donation was accumulated and the purpose or intended usage, specifically the purchase of Electroencephalography or EEG equipment for the Hospital, for not only his use but anyone else’s.

"Because of these three aspects I initially noted three “thanks” to Jaleel, however, when I reflected on the last aspect in terms of use of the donation, I have determined that he needs just not another round of applause but that we also salute him for his generosity, perseverance and foresight."

"And guess what - his generosity, perseverance and foresight has not ended – as he has advised us of another intended commitment through the Jaleel Cameron Foundation, which is to assist in the ongoing training of the Technician that operates the EEG equipment."

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