This session was presented in Spanish.
Epilepsy is estimated to affect over 60 million people worldwide, the majority of whom live in low and middle-income countries where access to medical treatment is limited. Cost-effective epilepsy treatments are available and an accurate diagnosis can be made without much technological equipment. Nonetheless, a vast majority of individuals with epilepsy in many resource-poor regions do not receive treatment. Anecdotal and descriptive estimates suggest a treatment gap of more than 80% in many low-income countries. In recent years, many countries have undertaken initiatives to decrease the epilepsy treatment gap, notably the demonstration projects such as the Global Campaign Against Epilepsy, conducted jointly by the International League against Epilepsy, the International Bureau for Epilepsy and the World Health Organization. However, measuring the gap, defined in simple terms as the proportion of people with epilepsy who require treatment but do not receive it, is challenging. There are numerous methodological issues to be considered and many cultural, demographic, economical and logistical factors that evidently influence this treatment gap and are themselves difficult to assess. This symposium will address the gaps in primary care, pharmacological and surgical care as well as in social acceptance and development in epilepsy as related to specific social, economic and political conditions in Spanish-speaking countries.
Following participation in this session, learners should be able to:
- Define the term “treatment gap” and describe the relative impact regarding current practices in pharmacological treatment, neurophysiologic resources and surgical treatment of epilepsy in Spanish-speaking countries that contribute to this gap.
- Describe standardized methods for measuring the aforementioned treatment gap.
- Delineate the specific cultural, economic and social factors identified in Spanish-speaking countries that contribute to this treatment gap.
- Review and discuss strategies for reducing this treatment gap in Spanish-speaking countries.
- Differentiate between strategies at the biological, social and economic levels that should be adapted or even copied from higher income countries and actions that must necessarily take specific circumstances into account and must be developed locally.
Co-Chairs: Mario A. Alonso-Vanegas, M.D., and David King-Stephens, M.D.
Mario A. Alonso-Vanegas, M.D.
Treatment Gap, How Can It Be Qualified and Quantified? How Do We Stand in Spanish-speaking Countries?
Jorge Burneo, M.D., M.S.PH.
Pharmacological Treatment Gap in Spanish-speaking Countries
Juan Jesús Rodríguez Uranga, M.D.
Neurophysiology Resources Gap in Spanish-speaking Countries
Silvia Kochen, M.D.
Surgical Treatment Gap in Spanish-speaking Countries
Jorge Álvaro González-Martínez , M.D., Ph.D.
David King-Stephens, M.D.
Attendees of the 2016 Annual Meeting have free access to recordings.