Epilepsy in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region
Bridging the Gap
Epilepsy, a common neurological disorder, is a target of enduring myths which have shaped social and cultural attitudes and practices. Such myths continue to survive, and contribute in no small measure to the stigma and discrimination faced by people affected by epilepsy and their families.
Epilepsy affects an estimated 4.7 million people in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Despite the fact that low-cost treatments are available, up to 98% of individuals in some countries are not able to benefit. This report brings together, for the first time, all the available evidence on epidemiology, etiology and management available from the Region and suggests the directions that need to be pursued to bridge the gap between the resources needed and those available, in order to make treatment of epilepsy accessible and affordable to the community. The report is the result of collaborative efforts between WHO, ILEA and IBE and will be of interest not only to health professionals but also to the public.