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26 March 2014

Prime minister backs Purple Day

Prime minister David Cameron is urging everyone to get behind Purple Day (today, 26 March) as Epilepsy Society launches its app and a new epilepsy awareness film in several different languages.

David Cameron said: ' Raising awareness of conditions like epilepsy is incredibly important and events like Purple Day can make a huge contribution in how we treat and think about the issue.

'The NHS is striving to make real improvements to get people with long-term conditions the care and support they need. I urge everyone to get behind Purple Day and help society to better understand epilepsy and the people who live with it.' 

Epilepsy app and new video

Epilepsy Society's  popular epilepsy phone app has been translated into Polish, Hindi and Spanish. And a new film featuring epilepsy information, seizures and personal stories in seven different languages will go live on Epilepsy Society's YouTube channel.

March 26, 'Purple Day', is recognised worldwide as the international day for epilepsy. 

The need for information resources in different languages  has been identified through the charity's pilot project 'epilepsy awareness and your community' - a three-year project funded by the Department  of Health in six boroughs in north and east London.

Communications and campaigns manager Amanda Cleaver said: 'Our phone app was a first for epilepsy when we launched it four years ago and it has since been downloaded worldwide by thousands of people.  Now we're blazing the pioneering trail  again with three new languages.'

Polish is the second most commonly spoken language in the UK, Hindi is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world and there are 406 million Spanish speakers worldwide.

Desperate need for epilepsy information

The YouTube film has been dubbed in six languages - Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Somali, Turkish, Urdu  - as well as English.

Commented Amanda:  'Our work in some communities in London has highlighted the desperate need for epilepsy information.  In  some languages there isn't even a word for epilepsy - let alone any information.  We really hope that by providing information in this way we can dispel the myths and misconceptions about epilepsy.'

The  Epilepsy Society app is available  free of charge from Googleplay .

 The YouTube films are initially available in English, or via our YouTube channel in  Bengali, Turkish and Cantonese .