SWAZILAND EPILEPSY ORGANIZATION
PRINCE BANDZILE CONSTRUCTS HOUSE FOR EPILEPSY PATIENT
His Royal Highness Prince Bandzile, who is the Patron of the Swaziland Epilepsy Organization (SEO), has constructed a house for an epilepsy patient Ms Alexina Myeni from Mbutfu who has lived under a tree for six months until a good Samaritan identified as Shabangu built her a shack.
The Prince launched the house yesterday and further donated food parcels and water tanks meant to benefit the whole community. The event was held at the Myeni compound. Prince Bandzile was accompanied by the representative of the Correctional Services Mr. Mamba, a representative of Matata stores Mr. Boy Nhlabatsi and the Indvuna of the Inkhundla together with the National Director Mr. Mbusomuni Mahlalela.
Alexina Myeni used to live under a tree for six months, due to the fact that she burnt herself during an epilepsy seizure and her wounds could not sustain the heat in the one room house she shared with the rest of her family. When the temperature rises during their cooking sessions, her burnt wounds would hurt even more and she would be forced to sleep outside, under the tree. A caring neighbor, Mr. Shabangu built her a shack as he could not bear seeing her in that condition.
“I was deeply touched by Myeni’s condition. She burnt her whole body during an epilepsy attack and could not do anything for herself. She slept under a tree from August 2009 until early 2010, when I finished building her the shack”, narrated Shabangu.
Myeni sustain her needs by selling firewood to the Ngwavuma Barracks and in exchange they offer her food parcels. Myeni currently has three children whom she has to support all by herself as their farther is not known. The father fled after witnessing one of Alexina’s attacks and decided he could not bear sharing the same house with an individual living with the condition as he was not educated about the condition and suspected witchcraft.
The construction of the house was successful due to the collaboration with the Matata stores, who donated building materials, the Correctional Services who literally constructed the house and National Disaster Management Agency. “We are grateful to be part of such an amazing experience. We as Matata stores acknowledge what the Prince is trying to do and we are very proud to be one of those enhancing the lives of the underprivileged in the country”, said Boy Nhlabatsi from Matata stores.
Mr. Mamba who represented the Correctional Services described the Myeni living condition as inhuman. “What the Prince is doing demonstrates the kind of empathy that he has towards the Swazi nation Before he came here, the condition that Myeni was living under were inhuman. We are honored to be part of such an endeavor and we will forever lend a helping hand whenever possible”, said Mr. Mamba.
While in Mbutfu the Prince and the director were introduced to Ntombi Mngometulu, who is also living with epilepsy. They learnt that Mngometulu was raped during an epilepsy absent seizure and consequently has two children. Luckily, she was later able to point out the culprits who raped her during her seizures. Mngometulu can not walk properly as she burnt her feet during an epilepsy seizure and is mentally retarded. What’s even worse is that she currently can not access medical attention as she can not walk to hospital and transport facilities are extremely scarce. It is suspected that Mngometulu inherited her epilepsy from her father as he is also living with the condition.
The director, Mr. Mahlalela described how she was introduced to Myeni. “As the Epilepsy Organization, we are constantly visited by epilepsy patients requesting assistance on financing their basic needs. We forward these requests to different companies and host events in attempt of raising those funds. When we first came to Mbutfu, we were shocked about the poverty rate and that is why we decided to distribute food parcels today”, said Mahlalela.
In extending his words of thanks, the Indvuna requested the Prince to forever support development programmes in the constituency as they still have a high poverty rate.
“I am really concerned about the alarming, ever-increasing number of epilepsy patients who are raped or burn themselves during epilepsy seizures. These raises concerns as to whether the epilepsy drugs are sufficient or not. The organization hosted the Epilepsy Yellow Golf tournament in attempt of raising funds so as to sustain the immense and diverse needs of the people affected in one way or the other by epilepsy and disabilities.
It is a result of those funds we raised that we succeeded in constructing this house. One thing that we as the Epilepsy Organization are certain of is that we can not reach our targets in delivering the relevant services required by the Swazi nation without government’s help. I therefore plead for government to conduct primary research on what could be done so as to curb the increasing number of epilepsy patients burning themselves during epilepsy seizures. People with epilepsy should still enjoy the benefits of living like ‘normal’ people and this sometimes limits the benefits that they should be enjoying”, narrated His Royal Highness Prince Bandzile. The Prince further highlighted the fact that the water tanks that he was donating are meant to serve the entire community, not the Myeni’s only. When distributing the food parcels, he urged the community to seek professional medical attention should they suspect epilepsy symptoms.