The International Epilepsy Day is annually observed across the globe on the second Monday of February. The day aims to create awareness about epilepsy and its treatment and the need to bring the treatment to all who need it.
The International Epilepsy Day is a joint initiative of the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).
The theme of the International Epilepsy Day 2021 is “Epilepsy is more than seizures”.
The International Epilepsy Day 2021 falls on 8th February 2021
- The International Epilepsy Day 2020 was observed on 10th February 2020
- The International Epilepsy Day 2022 will be observed on 14th February 2022.
i.The landmarks across the globe such as Colosseum in Rome, Italy and Eiffel Tower in Paris, France were lit up purple to mark the International Epilepsy Day 2021.
ii.Caritas Malta Epilepsy Association joined the event and lit up 5 Maltese buildings – Auberge de Castille, Palazzo Castellania, Palazzo Ferreria, Cavalier House and Maison Demandols.
Efforts of WHO:
i.WHO along with ILAE and IBE led the global campaign against Epilepsy to create awareness about epilepsy and to improve care and reduce the impact of epilepsy.
ii.The World Health Assembly approved the resolution on the global burden of epilepsy in 2016. The resolution urges the member states to coordinate action against epilepsy and its effects.
iii.To bridge the gap and morbidity of people with epilepsy WHO has carried out various programs to train and educate the health progressional, to identify potential prevention strategies and to develop models integrating epilepsy care into the local health system.
iv.The mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) and WHO’s programme on reducing epilepsy treatment gap aims to achieve cost effective ways to treat epilepsy in Ghana, Mozambique, Myanmar and Viet Nam.
i.Epilepsy is a chronic non communicable disease which affects the people of all age groups.
ii.More than 50 million people across the globe have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases across the globe.
iii.Around 80% of the people with epilepsy belong to the low and middle income countries.
iv.It is estimated that around 70% people who suffer from epilepsy can live without seizure if they were properly diagnosed and treated.
i.People with epilepsy have physical problems like fractures and bruising from injuries related to seizures.
ii.They have higher rates of psychological conditions like anxiety and depression.
- Brain damage from prenatal or perinatal causes
- Congenital abnormalities or genetic conditions with associated brain malformations
- Severe head injury
- Stroke that restricts the amount of oxygen to the brain
- Infection of the brain such as meningitis, encephalitis or neurocysticercosis
- Brain tumour.
About International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE):
President– Martin Brodie
Executive Director– Ann Little
Headquarters– Dublin, Ireland
Established in 1961
About International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE):
President- Samuel Wiebe
Headquarters- Texas, United States of America
Founded in 1909