Founder trustee & Chairman of Epilepsy Foundation, India
Title: Epilepsy services in rural India- Maharashtra model of total care
Dr Nirmal Surya has his expertise in Epilepsy care and rehabilitation. He hasbeen a prominent figure in India in terms of treatment for the poor andneglected society of India for epilepsy care. His ideology of removing thestigma of Epilepsy and Spreading knowledge among the patients and societyhas been helpful in a developing country.
According to WHO, approximately 50 million peoplesuffer from epilepsy around the world, out of whichapproximately 12 million patients with epilepsy reside inIndia and Maharashtra has a approximately 1 millionpeople with epilepsy. It’s one of the major neurologicaldisability present which affects all age, sex, religion andcaste alike.In Rural India the treatment gap is up to 85%largely due to poverty, lack of awareness, myths andtaboo associated with the illness & stigma of disease itselfwith unavailability of specialist to treat this disease.Epilepsy Foundation of india in association with NationalHealth Mission (NHM), state health society, Government ofMaharashtra has founded a public-private partnership anddeveloped a Maharashtra model of epilepsy which is beenworking successfully for past 7 years. The model includes-1. Training of medical & paramedical byCME/SEMINAR/HANDS on Training/Telemedicine.2.Sensitisation of medical officer, health worker andsociety.3.Awareness in society by audio-visual, movie,street play, pamphlets, radio and other modes ofbroadcasting.4. Rural Epilepsy Camps- Organised inDistrict, Sub- District level hospital- across Maharashtraevery Month. Evaluation and Management by Neurologistor Paediatric Neurologist. EEG/CT/MRI/Drug level free ofcost for the required patients. Neuropsychologicalevaluation and Counselling. 3 Months free medication toall. Data entry of all patients for future follow ups and forfeedbacks. Evaluation and treatment of disabilityassociated with epilepsy during the camp Follow upthrough telemedicine/ at district hospital/ at EF centre inMumbai. Set up of 10 Regional Epilepsy Centres indifferent districts of Maharashtra. In the last 7 years atotal of 69 camps have been organized by Epilepsyfoundation in association with NHM, Gov. Of Maharashtra,which saw a total of 26137 patients. 3340 free EEG havebeen done, 640 free CT scans and MRI, 1876 patientshave been counselled, Drug level and Bera were done of502 and 118 patients respectively. 125 Neurologist and25 Paediatrician/ Paediatric Neurologist rendered theirservices during these camps. These camps has reduced thetreatment gap to 25%, this model can be used in all therural setup for various conditions across India. This Modelcan be considered on a larger scale for other developingcountries as well.