Living with epilepsy guide translated to Ukrainian to help refugees

Epipicto, the 'simple, easy-to-understand' guide, has been translated into Ukrainian and Polish.

Easy to understand epilepsy guide translated to Ukrainian and Polish to help refugees iStock

NHS Scotland has helped expand a living with epilepsy guide to assist people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

Epipicto, the “simple, easy-to-understand” guide, has been translated into Ukrainian and Polish to help people with the condition escaping the war-torn country.

The pictorial guide was first produced in 2019, but has only been available in six languages, English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch and Maltese, until now.

Last month when the war in Ukraine began, translators got to work producing a version that would support refugees as well as those in countries they are fleeing to.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde helped fund the latest edition that aims to help adults with low levels of literacy and refugees arriving in Europe and the UK with little knowledge of the local language.

NHSGGC, through its partnership with Glasgow-based epilepsy support charity Epilepsy Connections, funded the translations, and the new resource is already in use with refugees in Poland and Germany.

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 team behind Epipicto quickly came together again to produce these vital new translations. 

“We’re grateful to all those who dropped everything to work on this project, and to NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde for their ongoing support for people with epilepsy.”

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.”

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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