Pediatric Neurosurgery Committee Report

Pediatric Neurosurgery Committee Report

Nelci Zanon, Chair; Federico Di Rocco, CoChair

Pediatric Neurosurgical Committee (PNC) activities were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic like the rest of the world. In 2020 we could have some “normal” activities only in the beginning of the year, mainly, January and February.

The PNC was privileged to co-sponsor 3 in-person activities out of more than 10 that had been scheduled but had to be cancelled due to COVID-19:

  • The PNC co-sponsored the annual conference in Egypt, Cairo, February 20-22. It was the  3rdAnnual conference of the Neurosurgery Department, Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt, and 1STAnnual conference of African Pediatric Neuro-oncology Society (APNOS). It was organized by Prof. Dr Mohamed El Beltagy and Prof Nasser El Gandour, WFNS 2nd Vice- President. The main themes of the conference were hydrocephalus, congenital anomalies, neuro-oncology and intraoperative monitoring and adjuncts. The excellent African Pediatric Oncology center was visited by the participants; all were impressed by Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt.
  • The PNC co-sponsored the 31st Annual Conference of the Indian Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery (IndspnCon 2020), Kolkata, India, host. It was organized by Prof Sandip Chattergee and Kaushik Sill, February 6-8. PNSC co-sponsored also the invitation of the INDSPN to a joint meeting with the European Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery (ESPN) and the Brazilian Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery (SBN Ped), British Pediatric Neurosurgical Group, and African Pediatric Neurosurgical Group.
  • The PNC co-sponsored with the WFNS Foundation the 5th Journées Lyonnaises de Neurochirurgie Pédiatrique on “CSF disorders in the fetus and neonates: from diagnosis to treatment” held in Lyon, France, February 1-3. It was organized by Profs Federico Di Rocco and Carmine Mottolese.

After the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown, the PNC co-sponsored – with several other international pediatric associations – on-line meetings, webinars, and discussions on different platforms, predominantly on Zoom.

We want to highlight two events which drew a consensus that prevention of non-accidental trauma and suicide need increased attention in pandemic and post-pandemic times:

  • December 2020, Buenos Aires, Profs Beatriz Mantese and Patricia Zagalsk: ”Jornada International del Abuso Infantil.” Hybrid event.
  • October 2020. Online event: “Vale a Pena Viver” with a focus on suicide prevention.

These events promoted the continuity of the SALV (Suicide Accident Law and Violence), event with multidisciplinary discussions on non-accidental trauma. The first event was in São Paulo in 2018, the second event was Recife in 2019 - both events in Brazil.

In 2020, the PNC developed a dedicated website that met virtually by Zoom platform. The first web meeting on development and planning the Website was held on Zoom on June 24, 2020, with an international voluntary group: Nelci Zanon, Albert Tu, Federico Di Rocco, Griselda Ramires, Ricardo Santos de Oliveira, Gonzalo Castillo, Gleice Salibe de Oliveira and Eylem Ocal. This group worked individually and together on a monthly basis, on Zoom, to solve the assigned tasks. The aim was to create a website for the PNC activities but also a platform for everyone interested in neurosurgery taking care of children around the globe. We developed a logo and linked the PNC website to the WFNS website. Dr Albert Tu is our website developer.

With this webpage we aim to develop collaborations worldwide with a list of Pediatric Neurosurgery fellowships, and available services in all countries with links to their institutions. We also aim to have a comments section (like a blog) for people to send questions and comments to the website – to develop bridging across institutions and provide for neurosurgeons who live in remote areas a tool to reach their colleagues. When more people have joined us, in a volunteer way, we then will open doors to other social medias (YouTube channel, Whatsapp group, and email are already activated).

The website is available at:

Email can be sent to: [email protected] or [email protected]

With this platform we also offer neurosurgeons who live in remote areas the WFNS Pediatric Committee Webinars on Demand. We propose a new webinar series titled “Basic Principles of Pediatric Neurosurgery: How I do it” to general neurosurgeons dealing with children in countries and regions where access to subspecialty pediatric neurosurgery care is limited or absent. These webinars would be “on demand”, this is, the neurosurgeons can ask for a specific topic of pediatric neurosurgery that interests them. The topics to be covered could be CSF circulation disorders – hydrocephalus, cysts…malformations as spinal dysraphisms – myelomeningocele, lipomas...skull abnormalities – encephaloceles, cutis aplasia, craniosynostosis...- oncology, brain tumors, spinal tumors…neurotrauma etc. They may ask for a webinar on one of these specific topics (or any other from pediatric neurosurgical field) and the PNC will organize a webinar with an ad hoc faculty. The scope of this webinar is to build interaction with these surgeons who work in regions where they have to deal with pediatric patients but without a pediatric neurosurgery setting. They just need to send an email to: [email protected] or download the invitation letter on our website to find alternate contacts. The PNC will offer them a tool to reach to specialized neurosurgeons in pediatrics.

The WFNS PNC is also planning to develop with the EANS Pediatric Committee and ESPN some events dedicated to “What a general neurosurgeon needs to know on pediatric neurosurgery”. We plan to co-sponsor a course September 9-10, 2021, in Zagreb, Croatia (probably hybrid) organized by Profs Sergey Gorelishev, Miroslav Gjurasin and Federico Di Rocco on pediatric neurosurgical emergencies for general neurosurgeons.

Below are 2 pictures:
1- Kolkata, India, February 2020, our last presential meeting before pandemic times
2- Online Website working group, Pediatric Neurosurgical Committee 2020

September 2023