“Epilepsy is a global problem that deserves a global solution.”
— Scott Boyer, founder of ROW
The ROW (Rest Of World) Foundation* exists to improve the lives of people living with epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders in under-resourced areas of the world. More than 40 million epilepsy sufferers in these areas don’t receive adequate treatment because it’s unavailable or financially out of reach. We envision a future when the best treatments will be available to all people, at all times, in all places.
In fulfilling this vision, we work to improve the accessibility and quality of education, diagnosis and treatment options. Since 2015, ROW has collaborated with 26 partners in 14 countries, and these global partnerships have expanded our reach to dozens more countries and hundreds of communities. Last year we provided more than 63,000 “prescription months” of life-changing medication free of charge. Because epilepsy is most often successfully treated by medication, we have seen the lives of entire families transformed in a matter of weeks.
Fatima (right) had uncontrolled epilepsy for 30 years. She has endured social stigma that impacted her education and livelihood. One of our partners in Sierra Leone sends community health workers to outlying villages to lead epilepsy support groups. Fatima travelled 100 miles to get an EEG test and was prescribed Roweepra. For the first time in her life, her seizures are under control. Her community is amazed and her successful treatment may help others understand that epilepsy is a medical disorder, not a spiritual condition.
Effective epilepsy treatment requires a team approach. We work in concert with key international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE). In addition to organizations, our partners include neurologists, EEG technicians, good-will ambassadors, donors and expatriates helping people in their homeland.
At ROW, we believe that we’re one world and there should be one standard for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. Granted, the world is filled with inequity and injustices, and the treatment of epilepsy is just one of them. But it’s an inequity we are working to change.
“The global inequity in care of those with epilepsy is heart-wrenching,” says ROW founder, Scott Boyer. “The knowledge and medicines already exist to bring hope and a brighter future to millions. Epilepsy is a global problem that deserves a global solution. We aim to be part of that solution.”
* ROW Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) private foundation.