Atlas: Epilepsy Care in the World
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Epilepsy is one of the most common serious disorders
of the brain, affecting about 50 million people worldwide.
Epilepsy accounts for 1% of the global burden of
disease; 80% of the burden of epilepsy is in the developing
world, where in some areas 80–90% of people with epilepsy
receive no treatment at all. Not much information exists
regarding the resources available within countries to tackle
the huge medical, social and economic burden caused by epilepsy.
In order to fill this gap, information regarding country
resources for epilepsy services and care was collected under
the Global Campaign Against Epilepsy (GCAE) “Out of the
Shadows”. The study represents a major collaborative effort
involving World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters,
regional and country offices, the International League Against
Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE).
This work was undertaken under WHO’s Project Atlas, ongoing
The Atlas: Epilepsy Care in the World (the Epilepsy Atlas)
provides an illustrative presentation of data and information
on the current status of epilepsy services and care available
from 160 countries, areas or territories covering 97.5% of
the world population. The information is primarily gathered
from key persons in the area of epilepsy care in each country
identified by ILAE/IBE and, in some cases, by WHO regional
offices. It is one of the most comprehensive compilations of
available resources for epilepsy ever attempted. Limitations
are to be kept in mind, however, when interpreting the data
and their analyses. The key persons were among the most
knowledgeable persons in their countries, but the possibility
remains of the data being incomplete and in certain areas
even inaccurate. The draft report was reviewed by leading
experts in the field of epilepsy and regional advisers of the six
WHO regions, and their comments were incorporated. The
Epilepsy Atlas also includes brief reviews of selected topics
summarizing the medical, lifestyle, social and economic issues
surrounding people with epilepsy.
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