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Published on 8 June 2009

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Epilepsy Awareness

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The “Excellence in Epilepsy” Journalism Award � an initiative of the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and UCB � invites journalists from around the world to submit stimulating, informed and compelling news and feature stories on epilepsy.

The award seeks to increase awareness and improve understanding of epilepsy. The closing date for entries and nominations is 30 June, 2009.

Susanne Lund, President of the IBE, commented “The IBE aims to create a world where fear and ignorance about epilepsy are replaced by understanding and care. We can only achieve this goal by increasing awareness of epilepsy � and this need is a pressing one.” She continued, “The media plays an important role in challenging stereotypes and sharing accurate information about epilepsy with their audiences. I believe that the Excellence in Epilepsy Journalism Award is a major step in encouraging the media to communicate knowledge, data and real life experiences of people with epilepsy around the world. Through this award journalists can help to combat the fear and ignorance about epilepsy and improve the lives for those living with the condition.”

The “Excellence in Epilepsy” award is open to consumer and medical journalists from any country. Entries can be submitted from print, broadcast or online outlets and will be judged by an independent, seven member international panel, comprising:

  • Dr Carlos Acevedo, Vice-President of the IBE Latin American Region and Editor, International Epilepsy News
  • David Josephs, Epilepsy Advocate
  • Joachim Mueller-Jung, Writer and Journalist, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • Dr Mark Porter, GP, Broadcaster and Medical correspondent for The Times
  • Robert Cole, CEO, Epilepsy Association of South Australia and the Northern Territory
  • Roger Sergel, Managing Editor, Health coverage, ABC News
  • Susanne Lund, President, IBE

The panel is tasked with identifying responsible, informed, original and stimulating stories on epilepsy.

David Josephs, journalism award judge and father of ten-year-old Dominic who has epilepsy said; “Epilepsy is a complicated, but common condition which affects people in different ways. Our family welcomes this initiative which strives to put epilepsy in the mainstream and share understanding about the condition. I hope through this award stories about epilepsy and the experiences of people like Dominic receive the attention they deserve. By increasing knowledge and understanding of epilepsy we also increase the hope for those living with the condition.”

The award has three categories; medical print and online, consumer print and online and broadcast. Journalists can either directly submit their work for the awards or be nominated by a peer or colleague.

“There have been important developments in the treatment and management of epilepsy in recent years, but to truly improve the lives of people living with epilepsy there needs to also be wider  understanding and knowledge amongst friends, colleagues, classmates, families and caregivers. Reaching such a broad range of people is only possible through informed and sustained media articles,” commented Dr Lode Dewulf, Vice-President of Global Medical Affairs, CNS, UCB.

“UCB is therefore pleased to work with the IBE on this epilepsy award initiative as part of our ongoing commitment to fostering education, awareness and understanding about this common condition and its treatment.”

UCB



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