Packages of care for epilepsy in low- and middle-income countries
In the second in a six part series on treating mental health problems in resource-poor settings, Caroline Mbuba and Charles Newton (Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya) discuss "packages of care" for treating epilepsy.
Packages of care are combinations of treatments aimed at improving the recognition and management of conditions to achieve optimal outcomes.
Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological disorder, affecting over 65 million people worldwide, of whom 80% are estimated to live in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs).
Anti-epileptic drugs are very effective in controlling seizures, say Mbuba and Newton, but most people with epilepsy in LMICs do not receive appropriate treatment. This ''treatment gap,'' they say, is influenced by factors such as limited knowledge, poverty, cultural beliefs, stigma, poor health delivery infrastructure, and shortage of trained health care workers. The authors review research on ways to close this gap by improving the identification and treatment of people with epilepsy.