Epilepsy awareness days, weeks, and months: Their roles in the fight against epilepsy and the intersectoral global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders

Publication Name

Epilepsy and Behavior


Objectives: This research sought to find out the epilepsy awareness days around the world and understand the nature and role of the days in the fight against epilepsy in relation to the Intersectoral Global Action Plan (IGAP) on epilepsy and other neurological disorders (2022–2031). Methods: We conducted a review of journal articles. The databases that we searched were ProQuest Central, EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete, EBSCO Medline, PubMed Central, Wiley Online, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), African Journals Online (AJOL), and Google Scholar. We limited our search to papers of relevance to our subject published between January 2000 and January 2023. We searched ‘epilepsy awareness day, week, or month’. From the databases, 13 articles met our inclusion criteria. We augmented our results with a search on Google of articles about epilepsy awareness day, week, or month. We also searched directly on the websites of epilepsy organizations. Results: We found that epilepsy awareness days fall into these categories: global awareness days (n = 2), awareness months (n = 4), regional awareness weeks (n = 5), and regional awareness days (n = 1). Our search for national awareness days (n = 7) was not comprehensive, and this could be an area for future research. The literature shows that epilepsy awareness days could play a role in (1) reducing knowledge and treatment gaps, (2) increasing participation, (3) unlocking resources, and (4) necessitating policy change and increasing networking. The major role of these dedicated days in the IGAP is to accelerate awareness and advocacy for policy change and improved interventions. Conclusions: Epilepsy awareness days are bringing stakeholders together already, and IGAP initiatives could tap into this achievement to accelerate awareness in a cost effective, contextual and collaborative manner. This could be achieved by adopting themes that relate more directly to the IGAP goals. Another important strategy is to motivate countries that do not have national epilepsy days or regions that do not have a regional awareness days, to consider doing one within the confines of resources.

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