First national epilepsy survey in Bangladesh

For every 1000 people in Bangladesh aged 1 month and older, there are almost 9 cases of epilepsy.

The data are revealed by the first national survey on epilepsy in Bangladesh, conducted by The National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital, in collaboration with WHO from January to May of 2017.

The most common type of epilepsy is primary generalized tonic clonic seizure, followed by partial epilepsy. The survey revealed a concerning treatment gap – nine out of every ten persons with active epilepsy were not receiving appropriate treatment.

Until now, there has been a lack of national data on epilepsy in Bangladesh. This survey provides much needed evidence on prevalence, treatment patterns and gaps, and beliefs and perceptions of epilepsy, which can support further action. Next steps include raising awareness about epilepsy and implementing evidence based interventions within the primary health care system as part of the Essential Health Service Package. This can help ensure that people living with epilepsy and their families receive the care and support they need.