In January I had the pleasure of traveling with Dr. Jeff Loeb, the Head of the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and Dr. Jesica Herrick, an infectious disease doctor at UIC, to the Hospital de Niños in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Our trip was sponsored by Solidarity Bridge, a not-for-profit that trains and equips Bolivian medical communities. We were also supported by the ROW Foundation through a donation of Roweepra XR (levetiracetam USP, extended-release).
We met with two pediatric neurologists, Dr. Oriana Mendez and Dr. Victor Cuellar, and a neurosurgeon, Dr. Jose Luis Ferrufino. Although they have little training in epilepsy care, neurologists treat all epilepsy patients as there are no epileptologists in Bolivia. About six to eight epilepsy patients arrive at the hospital daily. Many children with seizures never make it to the hospital and are forced to live with the unpredictability of devastating seizures.