World Federation of Neurology

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.8.2 Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases
Statement: 

The WFN supports wholeheartedly the WHO campaign to prevent and treat NCDs. The latest GBND from the IHME (2018) had neurological disorders as the leading cause o f DALYs and the second leading cause of mortality. The contributions to DALYs are mainly from stroke (42%), migraine (16%), Alzheimers Disease and other dementias (10%), and meningitis (8%). Lamentably, apart from stroke, researchers were unable to define any established risk factors for these conditions from the 84 used in the GBD study (2017). The numbers of persons affected by these conditions grew in all countries even though age-standardised rates remained constant for the period 1990 to 2016. The implications are clear. The need to elucidate treatments to prevent and /or modify these conditions to alleviate disability and costs to individuals and nations is paramount. At the same time the disparity between high and low sociodemographic index (SDI) nations becomes increasingly evident as does the unequal burden on resources. Such differences illustrate the need for approaches according to need.
The WFN is uniquely placed as the only global neurological organisation with an almost identical matching regional and national reach with which to partner the WHO in advocating an improved approach to limiting NCDs. The WFNs geographical advantage in advocacy partnerships is bolstered by WFN affiliated organisations of the Global Neurological Alliance such as the World Stroke Organisation, Alzheimers Disease International, Movement Disorders and Parkinson’s Disease, the International League Against Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis International Federation etc. The WFN is engaged in resource capacity building with training centres for neurologists in Africa and mesoAmerica, and educational activities through regional teaching courses and a sequentially rotating biennial World Congress of Neurology. The combined efforts of the WFN and WHO could realise more effective programmes; the magnitude of NCDs demands it.