It is estimated that there are more than 4,000 persons with epilepsy in the Maltese Islands. The Caritas Malta Epilepsy Association (CMEA) was set up by voluntary workers in 1996 and now lists almost 300 members. In May 2001, the Association was accepted as a Full Member of the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE).
The Association is for persons with Epilepsy and their families. It aims to promote education and local awareness about epilepsy, especially because of the stigma suffered by people with this condition in society particularly in employment. Our campaign is aimed at improving health care services, treatment and social acceptance of epilepsy, as a serious yet treatable brain disorder. Raising public and professional awareness and dispelling myths about epilepsy is one of our key objectives. Over the past years our promotional and educational campaign of the various aspects of epilepsy, including talks on T.V. and radio, lectures at schools and parishes, in-service courses for educators, seminars for police recruits, talks with ETC staff, articles in the local papers, a production of a video/DVD on epilepsy in Maltese and distribution of flyers translated into Maltese. Lately patient diaries and patient identity cards were also launched specifically for the use of those having epilepsy . This campaign is part of a worldwide campaign called Epilepsy Out Of The Shadows by IBE, ILAE and WHO. We also take part in several international projects.
CMEA works closely in Malta with the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Malta and the Maltese Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy, The Epilepsy Society of Malta which is the professional organization.