Providing access to epilepsy care in resource-poor countries
(Material Aspect 4)
Access to epilepsy care in low and middle income countries remains a complex public health challenge. Lack of qualified health care professionals and disease awareness makes people with chronic diseases more vulnerable to poverty and exclusion. Furthermore, the barriers to quality epilepsy care in those resource-poor countries are multiple.
Over the past five years, UCB’s Corporate Societal Responsibility (CSR) team, together with partners of the nine ongoing initiatives in Africa and Asia, fine-tuned strategies by interconnecting information between various initiatives, resulting in an acceleration of value creation for underprivileged people living with epilepsy.
In this context, UCB identified the four cornerstones of the CSR strategy:
- Create inclusive epilepsy education platforms for health care providers, often with limited knowledge on the disease, the causes and the treatment options;
- Expand and accelerate community awareness programs on epilepsy as a chronic disease, to increase the acceptance and integration of people living with epilepsy in their family, school, social and economic network;
- Advance access to diagnosis and treatment (within the countries’ treatment guidelines) offering holistic care; and
- Create academic neurology platforms to train a next generation of researchers and neurologists to build sustainable value to the country’s public health.
CSR was less about charity than working intentionally, fully mindful of the realities and challenges, so that improvements are realistic and incremental.