Health ministry estimates suggest that India has over 12 million people suffering from epilepsy. Studies reveal that 70% of the seizures can be controlled with medication. But the treatment gap remains as high as 75% in India, especially in rural and remote areas. Ekatwam, an NGO that seeks to improve the lives of epilepsy patients, has urged the Indian government to frame and implement a national program to deal with epilepsy.
The NGO said, "There is a need for a policy akin to the successful anti-polio program." Adosh Datta, Secretary of Ekatwam, said, "There is an urgent need to frame and implement a national policy to control and treat this disorder."
Dr. Manjari Tripathi, professor of neurology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said, "Despite such high prevalence of the neurological disorder in India, the awareness concerning it is quite low. A person with epilepsy is just like a person who has headache or asthma, which is episodic too. But the stigma faced by people with epilepsy is huge, impacting marriage, education and jobs."