Prof. Franco Servadei is the current President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, the largest neurosurgical organization in the globe. Many are the aspect that WFNS deals with, from committees covering all professional topics to socio-economics and of course WFNS Foundation affairs. Prof. Servadei is leading WFNS since 2017 and gives his opinion about WFNS Foundation role and the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic.
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The World Federation of Neurosurgical (SoDewan et al, J Neurosurg 2018) societies (WFNS) represent about 50000 Neurosurgeons all over the world and more than 120 Neurosurgical Societies. Unfortunately, there are big disparities in the location of the Neurosurgeons (Dewan et al, J Neurosug, 2018). If we wish to improve these disparities, we need to increase the number of neurosurgeons wherever needed, in particular in Africa and Southeast Asia.
The WFNS Foundation is the recipient of the WFNS economical support for education. Since the beginning of the years 2000, an educational project to prepare Neurosurgeons in Subsaharan Africa was established first in Marocco and then in Algeria, Senegal, Kenia, Brazil ) and supported also by the Africa 100 project. Furthermore, WFNS support also fellowships and short term education consisting in Neurosurgeons from Low-Middle-Income Countries visiting for a few months Institutions in North America and Europe at the same time many African Universities established training programmers and the results were that the ratio of neurosurgeons per population decreased from 1/8000000 to 1/2000000 (Servadei et al, World Neurosurgery, 2018) Out of 47 Neurosurgeons in training, 22 already came back to their original countries and opened new Neurosurgical Centers. The WFNS Foundation donated to these Neurosurgeons also instruments for brain and spine surgery and microscopes. A recently published survey showed the correct use of these donations (Venturini and Kee, World Neurosurgery, 2018).
The WFNS Committees taking care of the various topics (like spine, neurotrauma, vascular surgery etc…) organized in 2018 more than 120 courses all around the World to improve Neurosurgical education This included also some digital teaching like webinars, live TV, YouTube video, etc…
Looking at the future we also need to improve the quality of publications from some areas of the world (Tropeano et al, JNS Focus, 2019) and also to increase the digital teaching from remote with the use of surgical simulation devices (Nicolosi et al, JNS Focus 2018). All projects that, as I have demonstrated, are already showing efficacy, require economical support not only from the WFNS but also from public and private donations. Remember that when you read this article at the same time Neurosurgeons are taking care of patients with Brain and Spine trauma, vascular diseases and brain tumors, with children with Hydrocephalus … Both in the most prestigious Universities and in the most remote areas.
The WFNS and the Foundation have to assist them to reduce the disparities.