December 15, 2022

New WHO Brief Sets Out Actions Needed to Improve Lives of People with Epilepsy

Article published by World Health Organization

A new technical brief published today by the World Health Organization (WHO), Improving the Lives of People with Epilepsy, sets out the actions required to deliver an integrated approach to epilepsy care and treatment, which better meets the multifaceted needs of people with epilepsy.

Epilepsy affects over 50 million people across the world. It ranks fifth among all neurological causes for disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Worldwide, an estimated 125 000 deaths each year are related to the disorder. Epilepsy also has wider physical and mental health implications. Roughly half of all people with epilepsy also have other physical or mental health conditions, which are associated with poorer health outcomes and increased health-care needs.

Across the world, people with epilepsy continue to be the targets of stigma, discrimination, and human rights violations. As a result, they frequently face barriers to education and employment and are effectively prevented from full participation in social and community life.

“Given epilepsy has significant personal, health, economic and social inclusion consequences for people living with the disorder and for their families and communities, the response should not be anything less than integrated, comprehensive and engaging all of society,” said Dévora Kestel, WHO Director for Mental Health and Substance Use.