Neurology Department, Hospital de Pediatría JP Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Correspondence: Roberto Caraballo
Neurología. Hospital de Pediatría JP Garrahan,
Combate de los Pozos 1881. CP 1245,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Epilepsy is one of the most common and widespread neurological disorders affecting over 65 million people worldwide. Although estimates vary considerably, the annual incidence is considered to be almost 50 per 100,000 and prevalence around 700 per 100,000. It is thought, however, that more people are affected in low- and middle-income countries where resources to improve the care for people with epilepsy are limited. Of all people with epilepsy, around 80% live in resource-limited countries and up to 90% of these patients receive no treatment at all. National epilepsy programs to organize comprehensive care and cover educational, economic, and research aspects are necessary. A referral network will enable local healthcare workers to consult patients with more complex diseases and may ensure routine availability of inexpensive AEDs. Adequately identifying people with epilepsy and delivering cost-effective care in resource-limited countries is an important challenge for epileptologists and healthcare policy makers alike. Here we give an overview of the present situation and review the needs and the efforts currently being made in the field.