Epilepsy South Africa
Free State/North West Branch
Epilepsy SA opened a branch in Parys in 1984 running a Residential Care Centre for persons with epilepsy.
Over the years, treatment for epilepsy has advance and the need for a specialised facility decreased so we opened up to all persons with disabilities.
The name Epilepsy SA is now a misnomer for us as we care for persons with epilepsy, mild to profound intellectual disability, people with disability since birth such as down syndrome, people with speech impairments, physically disabled, wheelchair users, and psychiatric disabilities such as schizophrenia. In 2019 we were registered by the Department of Health as a Mental Health Facility.
In 2003 the focus changed from only providing a residential care centre to a community development organization.
This community development focus was a shift to bring about transformation of our services from residential care to making a greater impact through working in communities on projects such as food gardens and training people in economic development.
In 2009 we expanded our community services to include Primary Health Care, focusing on HIV/AIDS, TB and Home-Based Care. We have now stopped Home Based Care but still run a project funded by SASOL on TB and HIV/AIDS.
We are an independent non-profit organization with our own Board of Management and responsible for all our own funds and fundraising. We are affiliated to Epilepsy SA, and work within the national organisation’s guidelines and policies.
How you can get involved:
Volunteering is a great way to help our community and meet wonderful people.
It's also a wonderful way to gain work experience.
So contact us for all our volunteer opportunities.
Money is always welcome and we accept other donations too..
We have created businesses in which the profits benefit persons with disabilities.
Hire our shuttle buses, jumping castles, buy from The Dome Business Hub or Parys River Clay.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes unprovoked, recurrent seizures. A seizure is a sudden rush of abnormal electrical activity in your brain. Doctors diagnose epilepsy when you have two or more seizures with no other identifiable cause.
Epilepsy affects 50 millionTrusted Source people around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and nearly 3.5 millionTrusted Source people in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Anyone can develop epilepsy, but it most commonlyTrusted Source onsets in young children and older adults. According to research published in 2021, men develop epilepsy more often than women, possibly because of higher exposure to risk factors like alcohol use and head trauma.
The two main types of seizures are:
- generalized seizures
- focal seizures
Generalized seizures affect your whole brain. Focal, or partial seizures, affect only one part of your brain.
A mild seizure may be difficult to recognize. It may only last a few seconds, and you may remain awake while it happens. Stronger seizures can cause spasms and uncontrollable muscle twitches. They can last from a few seconds to several minutes and may cause confusion or loss of consciousness. Afterward, you may have no memory of a seizure happening.
There’s currently no cure for epilepsy, but it can be managed with medications and other strategies.