The Kenya Association for the Welfare of People with Epilepsy [KAWE] is a non-profit making organization that comprehensively targets and addresses issues of people with Epilepsy. Through a community participatory approach, KAWE is committed to addressing the needs of people living with epilepsy in a holistic and integrated manner.
KAWE was established in Nairobi, Kenya in 1982 by Mrs. Caroline Pickering following an interest developed after her daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12. Due to lack of adequate and social support, she decided to start a program on epilepsy and support those people who lived in the slums, could not afford treatment and were characterized with uncontrolled fits.
With close collaboration of Dr. Osman Miyanji and the then director of Agha Khan Hospital and Community Health Workers, KAWE started its first clinic in Mathare slum. Mrs. Pickering was later joined by Dr. Nelly Dekker, a volunteer doctor who managed the provision of medical and clinic support program.
Initially, before registration, KAWE focused on creating awareness and education on epilepsy. This was done through door to door visits and production of literature and media. Following the registration of the organization in 1982, KAWE expanded its programs and included provision of medical treatment to those people suffering from epilepsy.
We are also conducting lobbying and advocacy,which deals with legislation and institutional level policies which affect people with epilepsy.
KAWE has provided various support to over 50,000 persons with epilepsy and conducted many training courses in epilepsy management, in which more than 5,000 community and health professionals have been reached. Such trained human resources continue to provide crucial service in or through various mission, private and government health facilities. Further, in 1990 KAWE, produced the “Epilepsy Manual for Medical and Clinical Officers” which was adopted by the WHO for worldwide distribution, through the Global Campaign for Epilepsy.
To better address the various challenges facing people with epilepsy in Kenya, KAWE has developed a Strategic Plan for 2016– 2020.
Over the strategic plan period, KAWE has elected to focus on four (4) priority areas.
This focus area will seek to reduce the existing epilepsy treatment gap by facilitating universal access to affordable, sustainable and comprehensive quality health care;
Currently we have 3 owned and 26 affiliated epilepsy Clinics and by 2010 we aim to have 80 Epilepsy Clinics
Aims at generating and sharing knowledge on epilepsy by being at the forefront of research, as well as to offer expert advice, training and information to raise people’s awareness, remove stigma/ discrimination and improve quality of care and management;
The plan here is by 2020 to have facilitated training for 750 Community Health Workers and implemented a communications plan to raise public epilepsy awareness by 20%
Influencing and partnerships
Through this pillar, KAWE intends to facilitate voice, inclusion and equal opportunities for people with epilepsy, besides contributing to better practice for epilepsy care and management through influencing public policy and thought on epilepsy;
Advocacy for people with epilepsy through partnership with County departments and other organisations
To strengthen KAWE’s leadership in delivering cutting edge integrated health, education and care services for people with epilepsy – such that it is effective and sustainable.
KAWE staff continually attends training and workshops that assist in improving the organisation
KAWE is governed by a Board of Directors from different professions and backgrounds of whom the Chairman is a neurologist of high repute and vast knowledge in epilepsy management.
Vision Statement: People with epilepsy living their lives to full potential.
Mission Statement: To facilitate improved quality of life for people with epilepsy.
Core Values: KAWE is guided by the following ideals that guide how we create value and relate with key stakeholders, including standards for our operations, practice and performance.
- Compassion: We are passionate about the enhancing the wellbeing of persons with epilepsy; we do this by standing with them, besides demonstrating care and understanding. To the extent of our capabilities, we commit resources towards ensuring their independence and inclusion.
- Commitment: We are dedicated to the success of our ‘clients’ and their families, employees and all stakeholders, through value creation, support and care. We stimulate action about epilepsy by inspiring courage, self-confidence and a positive outlook towards the same.
- Teamwork: We believe in subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole. We closely collaborate the efforts of each person/ actor in delivering our services. We promote respectful and mutual relations in all our undertakings.
- Integrity: We uphold public trust by adhering to moral and ethical principles as well as maintaining open and prudent administration of, and accountability for, all resources entrusted to us.
- Excellence: By embracing excellence, we consistently challenge ourselves to execute flawlessly and to deliver the highest quality to our clients. We oblige ourselves to continuous innovation, learning and perpetual improvement in our thinking, actions and overall practice.
Philosophy: KAWE believes that people with epilepsy have a right to quality care, inclusion and equal opportunities, we strive to replace ignorance and fear about epilepsy with understanding and care. We are committed to ensuring that no person’s life will be limited by epilepsy. We do all this by providing information and advice about epilepsy, facilitating access to quality healthcare, as well as opportunities and voice to people with epilepsy.