To dispel myths about epilepsy and improve access to diagnosis and management of the disorder for patients in remote areas, the Bangalore chapter of Indian Epilepsy Association (IEA) launched “Hope on Wheels” programme here on Tuesday.

Being initiated in collaboration with UCB Pharmaceuticals, the programme will now be carried out through telemedicine technology fitted in a customised van. Representatives from UCB — Safia Rizvi and Fabrice Endelin — handed over the keys of the vehicle to Director of NIMHANS P Satish Chandra and IEA Bangalore Chapter’s President G.T. Subhas.

Dr. Satish Chandra said IEA, which is carrying out public awareness programmes through street plays in rural areas by hiring a van all these days, could now do it with a customised van. “The mission is to address the stigma attached with epilepsy and also spread the message that epilepsy is curable if detected early,” he said.

Karnataka High Court judge N. Kumar said because of the stigma attached to epilepsy, most cases were not detected early.

Dr. Subhas said IEA would now intensify its activities by collaborating with the Neuropathology department of NIMHANS. Qualified personnel and representatives from IEA will visit various rural schools in the van with specimens of brain.

“The focus will be on creating awareness among students of 9th and 10th standards. Children will be educated on prevention of epilepsy due to tape worm infection and epilepsy due to head injuries by not wearing a protective helmet,” he added.

IEA can be contacted onwww.epilepsyindia.org