Dealing with epilepsy · Not too personal

World Economic Forum, epilepsy and dealing with it

I was reading this morning one of David Nabarro’s reflections: HERE. It’s about chronic or non-communicable diseases, NCD’s in the eyes of the WHO. I haven’t seen any mention about epilepsy anywhere so I decided to dig deeper.

As the World Economic Forum is taking place these days and the hot subject is the “middle class”, there are many mentions regarding health in the discussions. No mention of idiopathic diseases, neurological disorders and more like this.

I know that epilepsy is not as “cool” like HIV, cancer, diabetes, polio. But really, not even one mention?!?

Just to tell people the size of these disorders. According to the WHO, there are over 1 billion sufferers. Don’t believe me, read this 2007 report called “Neurological disorders: Public health challenges“.

And, as a person with epilepsy, I have just one thing to add: talk more about epilepsy -> there are 50 million people with epilepsy worldwide. Compared with “cool” neurological disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer, this is huge. The same report says that there are 24 million people diagnosed with Alzheimer or other forms of dementia, so..less than 50%.

The World Economic Forum weighs in, as it should, the economic costs from AEDs to impact on the health system and so on. The same report says that, in Europe alone, the annual cost of neurological disorders was, in 2004, of 139 billion Euros. To show this cost in another light:

-> Cost of neurological disorders in Europe: 139 billion Euros (2004);

-> EU budget (2015): 145 billion Euros;

-> Germany budget (revenues): 1.7 trillion Euros (2014) – highest in Europe;

-> Romania budget (revenues): 59.6 billion Euros (2014);

-> Switzerland budget (revenues): 231 billion Euros (2014);

So, compared to all these, should the World Economic Forum talk about epilepsy or not?