· Under the EPIC program, in a span of 1 year, over 500 free screenings and 20 free surgeries were conducted for the Below Poverty Level (BPL) epilepsy patients
· Robotic assisted hemispherotomy was conducted for the first time in the State of Karnataka.
Bengaluru, 17th November 2021 – On the occasion of National Epilepsy Day, Sakra World Hospital, announced the initialization of Phase-2 of the EPIC (Epilepsy Prevention & Integrated Care) Program. This program is initiated in association with Rotary International and First Meridian. This year-long program aimed to provide quality treatment and education about Epilepsy for PWE (People with Epilepsy) for free.
The EPIC program is India’s first distinctive initiative to focus on Refractory epilepsy (uncontrolled epilepsy), specially dedicated for epilepsy patients who fall under the category of Below Poverty Level (BPL). This initiative was inaugurated by then Honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka Mr. C M Yediyurappa in September 2020. The progress till date has been tremendous, more than 500 epilepsy patients hailing from different parts of the state have undertaken treatment. Out of the 500 patients, for the first time in Karnataka, 20 patients with refractory epilepsy underwent complex epilepsy surgeries including robotics surgeries, free of cost in a private hospital setup under EPIC program. In addition, 2 patients underwent Robotic assisted hemispherotomy for the first time in the State of Karnataka.
Dr. Satish Rudrappa, Director of Neurosciences said: “India has over 12 million people suffering from Epilepsy with an overall prevalence of 3.0-11.9 per 1000 population. There is a treatment gap that is prevalent where 75% of the patients fail to receive the necessary treatment due to poor patient workup and follow up at Primary Health Centre’s(PHC), poor family & education, lack of school health programs, and thus, early identification. In order to eradicate this, Sakra World Hospital, with their EPIC Program has taken an optimistic step forward to enable various medical & surgical treatment under supervision for all the epilepsy patients.”
In order to create a systematic sole platform for PWE, Rotary Bangalore IT Corridor (RBITC) has launched a mobile application based on EPIC Program known as the EPILEPSY-Rotary App, developed by First Meridian under their CSR program across the state of Karnataka to help the needy. This app will be available in both Kannada and English for all the Android and iOS Users.
The agenda of the program lies in educating people about identification of the disease with the help of distinguished education programs conducted by experienced school teachers and caretakers said Mr. Sudhakar Balakrishnan, Group CEO of FirstMeridian. The team has also decided to launch free epilepsy camps at various parts of Karnataka in association with local Rotary Clubs following the main objective of this program which is creating awareness in the community to remove the stigma attached to epilepsy.
Speaking about the EPIC Program, Dr Shivakumar, Senior Consultant – Neurology & Epileptology said, “Epilepsy is a treatable illness and in order to cure or control epilepsy among the prevalent, it is necessary to provide them with the right education and treatments at an affordable price. With the initialization of the EPIC Program, in the last one year, we have successfully managed to screen over 500 patients and also provide complex surgical treatments for PWE free of cost. This time, we will be advancing and focusing on treating patients with Refractory Epilepsy or Intractable seizures. The screening and treatments of these patients would be conducted in the best way possible and at free of cost. It is time we put out our best foot forward in eradicating epilepsy from the roots.”
“98% of patients who underwent complex epilepsy surgery under EPIC program are doing extremely well with near normal life” added Dr. Satish Rudrappa.