Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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ORATION
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 236-240

Presidential Oration: The 18 th Annual Conference of the Indian Academy of Neurology, Trichi, Tamil Nadu, September 24-26, 2010, Epilepsy Care in Developing Countries


R. Madhavan Nayar Center for Comprehensive Epilepsy Care, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Kurupath Radhakrishnan
Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum - 695 011, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.74184

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Nearly 80% of the 50 million people with epilepsy worldwide reside in developing countries that are least equipped to tackle the enormous medical, social and economic challenges posed by epilepsy. These include widespread poverty, illiteracy, inefficient and unevenly distributed health care systems, and social stigma and misconceptions associated with epilepsy. Several studies have reported that a large proportion of patients with epilepsy in developing countries never receive appropriate treatment for their condition, and many, though diagnosed and initiated on treatment, soon discontinue treatment. Unaffordable cost of treatment, unavailability of antiepileptic drugs, and superstitious and cultural beliefs contribute to high epilepsy treatment gap in resource-poor countries. A significant proportion of the current burden of epilepsy in developing countries can be minimized by educating the public about the positive aspects of life with epilepsy and the primary and secondary physicians about current trends in the management of epilepsies, scaling up routine availability of low-cost antiepileptic drugs, and developing cost-effective epilepsy surgery programs.


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