Health Minister J P Nadda said the country has about 10 million persons with epilepsy (seizures) in the country and the Centre is supplementing the efforts of State Governments to provide health services including treatment of epilepsy.
General facilities for “early diagnosis and management” of epilepsy are available in government hospitals. Specialized treatment for epilepsy is available in institutions such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, he said.
In addition, management of mental disorders including treatment for behavioral and psychological systems of epilepsy is also a part of District Mental Health Programme, being implemented in 241 districts of the country, the minister informed the Rajya Sabha.
The treatment gap is attributable to stigma in the society towards epilepsy, inadequate knowledge among the public about availability of treatment, etc. As informed by the NIMHANS, workplace stigma is mainly due to lack of awareness among the employees and employers and it being tackled through various Non-Government Organizations, mainly Indian Epilepsy Association (IEA), he noted.
There are 22 chapters of IEA in the country and they are conducting number of awareness campaigns in the forms of lectures, film shows, street shows and various IEC materials for common people.