Epilepsy in Indonesia: Notes from Development



Based on interviews with neurologists and medical personnel throughout Indonesia, the paper reports on the medical and cultural situation of epilepsy in a developing country. After briefly reviewing the context of Indonesian medical care, the paper examines the indigenous perspectives of epilepsy with particular attention the “underutilization” of western medical care. Contributing factors discussed include cultural beliefs, perception of stigma, and cost and accessibility of medical care. This is followed by a discussion of two grassroots initiatives to modify the image and treatment of epilepsy.