World Federation of Neurology
The WFN notes with appreciation the approach of the introduction of ICD11 as detailed in the comprehensive report by the Director General (EB 144/22). In doing so the WFN is cognizant of the enormous effort over twelve years to arrive at this point. Importantly the WFN recognises the difficulty that the WHO had with changes to the stroke and neurology sections during revision. Acknowledging that there were competing imperatives, clinicians and health systems worldwide will be grateful for the recognition of stroke as a disease of the brain.
As shown in the most recent publication of the global burden of neurological disease, stroke is a major contributor to global DALYS, and is a known risk factor for dementia. While many health systems will use ICD11 with which to fund hospitals through activity based payments it is the increased visibility of stroke as a cause of disability, mortality and risk factor for dementia that will be most benefited by the change. This accommodation will also remove the risk of the WHO being viewed as out of touch with current concepts of brain disease.
The WFN through its immediate past president had carriage of the Topic Advisory Group for neurology and together with the World Stroke Organisation worked tirelessly for this particular outcome.
The WFN together with its 122 National Society members and support of the Global Neurology Alliance which includes major specific disease groups such as the World Stroke Organisation, Alzheimer’s disease International and many other disease specific groups which focus on NCDs, calls on the WHO to maintain the accommodation of these changes in stroke classification in ICD11 while utilising improved I.T. capabilities, to incorporate multiple parenting etc. to continue its longitudinal statistical capacities.