International Epilepsy Day was started in 2015 by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). This day offers a platform for people with epilepsy and seizures to share their experiences and stories with a global audience. The day also asks people to advocate for legislation that will guarantee human rights for people with epilepsy.
Make change at local and national levels by advocating for legislation.
Why Do We Recognize International Epilepsy Day?
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions around the world. Even though it’s common, the stigma surrounding the disease remains. This often leads to discrimination and social isolation. However, this day serves as an opportunity to raise awareness, challenge stigma, and show support for the epilepsy community.
#EpilepsyDay Is on February 12, 2024
International Epilepsy Day is a part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 10-year Intersectoral Global Action Plan on Epilepsy and other Neurological Disorders, also known as IGAP. This ten-year plan aims to strengthen the public health approach to epilepsy.
According to the International Epilepsy Day website, “By 2031, countries will have increased service coverage for epilepsy by 50% from the current coverage in 2021.” Additionally, “80% of countries will have developed or updated their legislation with a view to promoting and protecting the human rights of people with epilepsy by 2031.” The IGAP initiative is crucial in helping people with seizures live their healthiest lives and experience their fullest potential.
One of the most significant barriers faced by people with epilepsy is the lack of understanding and acceptance from their communities. Many still have outdated beliefs about epilepsy. For example, someone may think it is contagious or that seizures are a form of mental illness. These misconceptions can lead to discrimination in education, employment, and social settings. This limits the opportunities available to people with epilepsy.
By providing accurate information about epilepsy, proper treatment, and inclusion, we can reduce stigma. This year, we encourage you to use #EpilepsyDay and #MyEpilepsyJourney on social media to share your experiences. Whether you are a person with epilepsy, a caregiver, a family member, or a friend, your story matters. By sharing your story, you are helping others to understand more about seizures. Every story is important, and every voice matters.
Aside from social media, there are even more ways that you can get involved: