International Epilepsy Day is a key initiative that the epilepsy community will use to drive the implementation of the World Health Organisation’s [WHO] 10-year Intersectoral Global Action Plan on Epilepsy and other Neurological Disorders (2022-2031) or IGAP.
IGAP is a ten-year roadmap that contains a specific strategic objective to strengthen the public health approach to epilepsy and two global targets aiming to close the major treatment and inclusion gaps for people with epilepsy worldwide:
One of the key barriers to achieving these epilepsy specific global targets is the low levels of health literacy and the high levels of misunderstanding and misconceptions about epilepsy.
This lack of knowledge translates into social stigma and exclusion and leads to the discrimination of people with epilepsy across all levels of society. For example, at work, at school or in the community.
Lack of knowledge can also contribute to challenges in access to treatment due to misdiagnosis, inappropriate treatment decisions, inadequate provision of care and insufficient support for people with epilepsy and those who care for them. In fact, due to the stigma surrounding epilepsy, in many parts of the world, those affected will not come forward to seek care.
Additionally, lack of knowledge also hampers prioritisation of, and resource allocation, to epilepsy by our policy and decision-makers, and acknowledgment of the need for specific policies and programmes to address the burden of epilepsy.
Therefore, this #EpilepsyDay, we want to improve knowledge levels about epilepsy amongst all sectors of society by asking people with epilepsy and those who care for them to share their Epilepsy Journey.
Join the conversation by sharing your journey with us, or explore the journeys of others to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of epilepsy worldwide
Let’s learn from one another how we can effectively implement IGAP’s ten-year roadmap to overcome obstacles and improve care for epilepsy globally.
Information taken from the International Bureau for Epilepsy Website