Mental health

Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly adopts resolution on epilepsy

More than 30 Member States spoke in support of the resolution at the World Health Assembly. Delegates emphasized the importance of training non-specialist health-care providers to reduce the epilepsy treatment gap. In low- and middle-income settings, strategies to improve access and affordability of anti-epileptic medicines should be a priority, they stated.

Countries are encouraged to undertake public awareness activities to reduce misconceptions about epilepsy and encourage more people to seek treatment. The research capacity of low- and middle-income countries should be bolstered through expanded academic collaboration and by setting up centres of excellence.

The Resolution WHA 68.20, endorsed by all 194 Member States at the Health Assembly, calls on the WHO Secretariat to:

  • continue to lead and coordinate support to Member States,
  • improve health information and surveillance systems to get a clearer picture of the global burden of epilepsy and the associated economic impact, and
  • measure progress in improving access to care.

This landmark resolution aims to ensure that people with epilepsy can receive timely treatment and also benefit from educational and occupational opportunities free from stigma and discrimination.