World Federation of Neurology

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
7.6 World health days
Statement: 

The WFN applauds the WHO initiative to review the listing of all international anniversaries by World decades, years, months, weeks and days.
The promotion of these activities is an important aspect of world health and their recognition by the WHO is greatly valued by the individual organizers particularly if they are co-sponsored by the WHO. Almost without exception their goals satisfy the stated objectives of the WHA as detailed in the background paper (Clause 9) of item 7.6.

For several years the WFN has held a World Brain Day (WBD) on the anniversary of its formation on July 22nd 1957 by orchestrating a publicity campaign on the theme of each WBD. The particular topic selected (brain health, age and the brain, clean air, epilepsy, stroke) has on many occasions matched the interest of a related organisation which has partnered WBD with the WFN. Typically, the partners and their individual member organisations promote the topic through national, regional and global activities with press releases, interviews and video and printed promotional material. Through the reach of the 122 strong WFN national members, their regional organisations, the AAN, AFAN, AOAN, EAN, PAUNS and PAFNS, and the partnered organisation of the Global Neurological Alliance, WBD is growing annually.
Topics of high interest to the WHO NCD initiative (stroke, dementia and clean air) have been WBD topics. These topics, with migraine, the 2019 WBD topic (in partnership with the International Headache Society), represent the leading cause of DALYs in the most recent GBD study and the second leading cause of mortality.
The WFN welcomes the review, a strengthening of the WFN-WHO relationship and the development of strategies to enhance awareness of brain health.