Haiti – March 2018
March 28, 2018
American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting
May 31, 2018

Epilepsy A Major Problem In India

Epilepsy is a bigger problem in India than in most other countries. As reported by The Better India website:

It is estimated that there may be about 12 million people with epilepsy in India, making it to almost one sixth of the global burden. Around 14 people per 1,000 populations are prone to suffer from epilepsy in India, with higher estimates in children and young adults, and in rural areas.

The site also notes that nearly 95% of some populations with active epilepsy don’t receive appropriate treatment due to lack of knowledge of anti-epileptic drugs, poverty, cultural beliefs, poor health infrastructure, and shortage of trained professionals to diagnose and treat the disease.

The problem is even more acute among the rural poor. Detailed studies have shown that the prevalence of epilepsy in rural areas is nearly two times higher than in urban areas.

The Journal of the Indian Academy of Neurology has documented the negative impact of epilepsy, noting its adverse effect on education, employment, marriage, and other essential social opportunities. The huge treatment gap and poor quality of life is further worsened by the associated comorbidities and conditions.

The ROW Foundation is addressing this crisis by providing much-needed neuorodiagnostic equipment to multiple hospitals in northern India. Projects are being worked on to place mobile EEG equipment in two hospitals in remote regions later this year. Services for treating epilepsy in these areas are extremely limited.

At the same time, we will not neglect urban hospitals that serve a larger population. One mobile EEG unit is needed in an urban hospital’s pediatric ICU. The department currently borrows equipment from another facility, so it’s not always available in emergency situations. Having their own EEG unit will help in acute cases and in long-term monitoring when an extended seizure study period is required. The doctors are confident that such monitoring will result in more effective treatment for these children.

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