Purpose: Information about existing resources available within the countries to tackle the huge medical, social, and economic burden caused by epilepsy is lacking. To fill this information gap, a survey of country resources available for epilepsy care was conducted within the framework of the ILAE/IBE/WHO Global Campaign Against Epilepsy.
Methods: The study represents a major collaborative effort involving the World Health Organization (WHO), the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE).
Results: Data were collected from 160 countries representing 97.5% of the world population. The information included availability, role, and involvement of professional and patient associations for epilepsy, epilepsy treatment and services including antiepileptic drugs, human resources involved in epilepsy care, teaching in epileptology, disability benefits, and problems encountered by people with epilepsy and health professionals involved in epilepsy care. The data confirm that epilepsy care is grossly inadequate compared with the needs in most countries. In addition, large inequities exist across regions and income groups of countries, with low-income countries having extremely meager resources. Complete results of this survey can be found in the Atlas: Epilepsy Care in the World.
Conclusions: The data reinforce the need for urgent, substantial, and systematic action to enhance resources for epilepsy care, especially in low-income countries.