- According to the first global report on epilepsy by the World Health Organization(WHO),more than 75% of people with epilepsy in low-income countries are at risk of premature death due to lack of access to anti seizure medicines.
- Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of awareness.
- The Indian Epilepsy Association terms epilepsy as a common neurological disorder affecting an estimated 50 million people worldwide. India accounts for nearly 10-20%(5-10 million) of the global burden of epilepsy.
- The report says that death risk is further spiked by the presence of additional health conditions such as (a)Clinical depression (b)Anxiety and Development and learning difficulties in children with epilepsy.
- Apart from the burden of the disease,people living with epilepsy also face social consequences including stigma,discrimination and human rights violations.
- The report calls for sustained and coordinated action to prioritise epilepsy as a public health imperative.It suggests the need for (a)public information campaigns in schools (b)workplaces to help reduce stigma and (c)introduction of laws to prevent discrimination and violations of human rights among the group.
- In addition,uninterrupted supply of access to anti seizure medicines, training of non-specialist health providers working in primary health-care centres can help reduce the epilepsy treatment gap.
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