Global Health Asia-Pacific Issue 2 | 2023 - Page 81

�HC significantly reduces the burden of epilepsy by promoting early diagnosis , improved access to antiepileptic drugs , strengthening healthcare infrastructure , and promoting community-based intervention such as support groups to assist people with epilepsy and their families . WHO estimated up to 70 percent of epilepsy patients could become seizure-free after accurate diagnosis and prescription of antiseizure medicines , costing as little as US $ 5 per year and giving epileptic people a chance at everyday life .
Better healthcare services The existing training module on medical and allied health professionals should be revamped to integrate more emphasis on epilepsy as well as the management of convulsive and non-convulsive seizures . Improving healthcare workers ’ knowledge of epilepsy can be facilitated through the WHO Mental health gap action program ( mhGAP ). The programme aims to enhance the capacity of health systems to provide quality mental health care and evidencebased guidance and tools to help health workers identify , diagnose , and manage epilepsy patients .
Healthcare providers , specifically in �MIC , should extend training curricula to include community health workers , nurses , midwives , social workers , and teachers so that they can recognise epilepsy symptoms . This initiative was carried out in India where the Indian Council of Medical Research funded a three-year project consisting of surveys and training for schoolteachers to address epilepsy stigmatisation and provide treatment to children with epilepsy . Furthermore , ministries of health should consider incentivising healthcare workers to participate in neurology training courses to enhance their proficiency in epilepsy care and provide additional benefits if they are placed in primary care facilities in rural settings .
The ministries should also invest in nurturing local professionals so that they can identify and refer epilepsy cases in all sectors , such as psychologists , psychiatrists , and educators . A local and international clinical network is also vital for sharing knowledge and seeking support , especially when dealing with rare types of epilepsy .
Government policy and networking Politicians , governments , and civil society consisting of epilepsy advocacy groups should be more actively engaged in the decision-making process related to epilepsy prevention , treatment , and care . Recommended policies should include the establishment of national and regional collaborations between government and non-government organisations and strengthening the political commitment to implement laws that reduce the stigmatisation of people with epilepsy .
Adequate funding and resource allocation
Central nervous system infections can obstruct the brain ’ s electrical activity , producing seizures .
is crucial to ensure people with epilepsy can obtain quality care without any financial hardship . Therefore , governments are recommended to create a specialised budget for epilepsy and consistently provide epilepsy care funding for underserved populations . �ocal finance and treasury ministries should also design a social protection programme that provides disability payments to people with epilepsy , their carers , and their families .
Governments can cultivate networks with academic and research institutions to foster cooperation for exchanging knowledge , devise sustainable initiatives , and coordinate responses to local epilepsy prevalence . A cross-sectoral approach involving the education and labour sectors is essential to ensure that nondiscriminatory practices in education delivery and employment screening are in place .
Tailoring a multisectoral approach The WHO ’ s report emphasises that every country can tailor a multisectoral approach to epilepsy according to the context and its national priorities in order to maximise benefits for society and enhance the lives of persons with epilepsy . �n
GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com ISSUE 2 | 2023