WFNS-WHO Liaison Bi-Monthly Committee Meeting Minute


WFNS-WHO Liaison Bi-Monthly Committee Meeting
Square Brussels Convention Center (Main Congress Venue)
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

  1. Introductions:  The meeting was called to order at 8:35am.  Committee members present in person and via teleconference introduced themselves.  All were thanked for their participation and time, especially those calling in from inconvenient time zones. Raji Mahmud was thanked for organizing  the teleconference..
  2. Report from confirmed AANS course: The AANS Scientific Program Committee has endorsed a new course of interest to this committee.  This Global Neurosurgery Practical Course will be held at AANS in San Diego on Sunday, April 14, 2019.  Designed in association with the BOD of FIENS, and following a successful template for similar course offered at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress and Stanford University Department of Surgery, the course will prepare those who wish to hone their general neurosurgical skills in preparation for volunteer service/teaching in low resource environments.  Committee members are asked to encourage senior neurosurgeons and senior residents to attend. 
  3. Report re: potential WFNS- EANS Collaborative Course: On Tuesday afternoon, Gail Rosseau and Franco Servadei had the opportunity to meet with the leadership of EANS. The group approved a   hands-on practical course similar to the AANS course above, to be held during the WHA in Geneva at the beautiful Swiss Foundation for Innovation and Training in Surgery (SFITS) Simulation Lab, under the auspices of the Dept of Neurosurgery led by  University of Geneva Neurosurgery Dept Chairman and EANS President-Elect Karl Schaller.  Andrea Bartoli will be local coordinator of this course.  EANS will aid WFNS in identification of faculty, all of whom will be experienced in neurosurgical volunteering in the developing world.  The course is also intended to include a “WHA Advocacy Boot Camp” for those participants who also wish to be involved in the WHA, which will take place that same week: May 18-24, 2019.
  4. Report from ThinkFirst-WFNS Neurotrauma Committee Task Force on Prevention.: 

    The commitment of the WFNS Committee on Neurotrauma to include prevention content at all its courses was again noted and appreciated.  A ThinkFirst  Program for the local community is being planned during the ICRAN meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan.  This will occur on March 7, 2019, in association with the new Pakistani ThinkFirst Chapter.  Nelci Zanon presented the work in Brazil of SALV, the Suicide, Accidents, Law and Violence initiative that has been endorsed by the Brazilian Pediatric Neurosurgical Committee.  This group also supports the efforts of the WFNS-WHO Liaison Committee to strengthen international requirements for folate fortification, to prevent spinal dysraphism. (see attqached publication #2 , from October, 2018 Neurosurgical Focus).
  5. Report from Ad Hoc Task Force on Folate Fortification: (see publication below from October, 2018 Neurosurgical Focus). Many thanks to Jeff Blount for leadership in this effort.  Development of a proposed resolution for WHA 2019 on this topic will take place Dec 11-12, 2019 at the meeting of the G4 Alliance.
  6. Report from American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress: A course to prepare subspecialized general surgeons to volunteer in the developing world was started by Dr. Sherry Wren, Stanford University Dept of Surgery about 8 years ago.  The course has been highly successful at Stanford,.  It is generally offered as a 1 ½ day weekend course in February, with 40-50 participants.  The course has been offered several times, with equal success, at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress.  On Sunday, October 21, 2018, 45 surgeons participated in this course.  The emergency temporal burr hole/craniectomy sessions were taught by Gail Rosseau, with valuable assistance from Ernest Bartholomy, MD.
  7. Upcoming meetings:
    1.  Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC): October 25, 2018:  This meeting was open  to those involved in Global Surgery who were in Boston for American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress.  The academic day included reports from 12-15 regions with  ongoing projects at PGSSC, as well as report on WHO by Walter Johnson and Rwanda by Abebe Bekele.
    2. G4 Alliance: December 11-12, 2018: This is a meeting of the Permanent Council of the representatives of the 90+member societies of this association of SOTA (Surgery-Obstetrics- Traumatology-Anesthesia) Specialties.  Observers are welcome.  For further information, see or contact Gail Rosseau.
    3. Weill Cornell Department of Neurosurgery Global Neurosurgery Symposium: January 18-19, 2019.  Several members of the committee are participating. See website for further details. (
    4. AANS Practical Course in Global Neurosurgery: April 14, 2019, San Diego: Save-the –date; discussed above.
    5. May 20-24, 2019: World Health Assembly (WHA), Geneva: We are eager to have as many committee members and other neurosurgeons as possible at WHA in Geneva!  All are welcome; there is no budget to support any participant.  Those who anticipate being in Geneva are asked to inform Gail as soon as possible. (see attached publication #1 from October 2018 Neurosurgical Focus).
  8. New Business:
    There being no new business, the meeting was concluded at 9:20am.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Gail Rosseau, MD
    Chairman, WFNS-WHO Liaison Committee


October 2018 Neurosurgical Focus

May 2024