Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
LEVAV, Itzhak; STEPHENSON, Carolyn and THEODORE, William. Epilepsy in Latin America and the Caribbean: a survey on needs and resources. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.6, n.5, pp.342-345. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891999001000006.
A survey was done on the needs and resources available to control epilepsy in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Responses came from ministries of health, prominent neurologists, and epilepsy advocacy organizations. A mailed questionnaire was used, and the response rate was excellent, 89%. The survey results showed that the private sector is better equipped to deal with epilepsy than is the public sector, in terms of both specialized personnel and access to a variety of drugs. Public policies are lacking, and linkages between medical personnel and social workers are almost nonexistent. Primary care doctors and nurses are somewhat able to diagnose some types of epilepsy but do less well with other types of the disorder. There is a strong justification for the new "Out of the Shadows" initiative, in which the International League Against Epilepsy, the International Bureau for Epilepsy, the World Health Organization, and the Pan American Health Organization are working to improve epilepsy health-care services, treatment, and social acceptance.