Global Neurosurgery Committee Report



Global Neurosurgery Committee Report

Adam E Ammar & Kee B Park

The Global Neurosurgery Committee began its work in June of this year, and since then has been hard at work bringing together neurosurgeons from around the world to collectively address the unmet need for neurosurgical care. The goal is to implement our Global Action Plan, details of which can be found on the website, by the time of the next WFNS Special World Congress in Bogota, Colombia, in 2021. So far, 25% of member societies have signed on to support the plan, and we hope to have that to 100% by the Congress! Here is just a snapshot of the work currently underway:

  • We are working to detail the global neurosurgical workforce in 2020, but are also working to make the workforce data a regularly-collected indicator. We encourage all WFNS member societies to begin the annual collection of such data for their representative countries. We cannot improve what we do not measure, and only with the assistance of the member societies of the WFNS can we ensure that there is a sufficient number of neurosurgeons in each country to care for its patients.
  • To that end we are also working with partners in Sudan, Afghanistan, and Tanzania to initiate new training programs in each country. Education is a priority, and we encourage any member who is interested in assisting to reach out to us at GNC.WFNS@gmail.com.
  • The WFNS Reference Training Center in Dakar, Senegal, has been a shining example of the good the society can do. However, the center has been without a surgical skills and dissection lab that would greatly improve the quality of training for its residents, a deficiency they have long sought to correct. We are working with neurosurgeons at the Dakar training program to bring together stakeholders in order to develop a surgical skills and dissection lab at their institution.
  • As the focus on the public health aspects that affect our patients’ access to safe, affordable, and timely neurosurgical care grows, we must rise to provide leaders in the field. The training of our future generations of neurosurgeons in the field of global neurosurgery is necessary to provide leaders outside of the operating room. We are working with funders to develop a grant for neurosurgeons and trainees from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to study global neurosurgery at accredited fellowship programs like the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
  • The Global Action Plan focuses on more than just training the next generation of neurosurgeons; its aim is to promote neurosurgical capacity building in all areas of a surgical and health system. To that end, we have started discussions with neurosurgeons in five countries - Sudan, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Bolivia - to develop strategic plans for strengthening neurosurgical services in their countries. We encourage any member who is interested in assisting or wishes to do such work in their own country to reach out to us at GNC.WFNS@gmail.com.
  • We have also collaborated with the Neurosurgery Outreach Foundation to create a research award that we will launch at the Bogota WFNS Congress in 2021. Our goal is to stimulate neurosurgery research capacity building, specifically in LMICs.
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