Column of the World Federation of Neurology' president

Column of the World Federation of Neurology' president

In the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic


The column of William Carroll, MD, was published in World Neurology newsletter


Since my last column, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread through most developed countries courtesy of international travel, tourism, and high-density populations. It is now set to decimate less developed countries in South America, Asia, and Africa, consequent upon insufficient resources and less sophisticated public health services. Those least well-resourced countries face, like in epidemics of old, the twin blights of the epidemic and economic collapse and risk ensuing anarchy. Even some better-off countries have pursued different strategies in balancing the health requirements and when to re-open their economies with differing results now and no doubt differing results in the longer term.



William Carroll, MD


What is different with this pandemic and the plagues and epidemics of the past, and even the more recent SARS, Ebola, and Zika emergencies, is the concatenation of the modern world by the internet. While the world looks for a more unified inter-governmental response, peoples of the world, and in particular scientists, clinicians, and concerned citizens, have joined a multitude of international, regional, and global groups to contribute to the care, surveillance, and data collection of those affected. Through the internet and modern communications, infection rates, mortality rates, and survival rates issue daily from most countries irrespective of denominators. Most of us are involved in one or more such activities while we watch with concern — and at times with incredulity — as nations make individual decisions to minimize the human and economic costs of this pandemic. We all hope to see a successful formula develop.


The WFN also hopes that all of its individual member neurologists have remained safe and in good health. Happily, the London office staff have done so and the same applies to the trustees and officers."


The WFN activities during the current situation:

  • The WFN has implemented a program to improve the communication between the London office and its members. Once complete, and this first part is almost there, the office will commence a rolling dialogue, contacting approximately 10 members each month to ensure the details are current. 
  • -The WFN is participating with the Brain Health Unit of the WHO in its COVID-19 neuro endeavor and with other groups interested in collecting data about potential neurological involvement in the course of COVID-19 infection.
  • Like most global or large regional organizations, the WFN had been moving to a more electronic base for education. 
  • World Brain Day (WBD) has continued to evolve. This year the WFN is excited to partner with the International Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorder Society and believes that the 2020 WBD will achieve similar goals as those that the International Headache Society brought to the 2019 campaign.
  • A second promotional activity being developed is the Brain Health Initiative. This will focus on the importance of brain health in general and at present will comprise five modules of related topics.
  • The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Council of Delegates will be a virtual meeting on a Zoom platform commencing at 12 p.m. on Sept. 9, British Summer Time. Details of this important meeting and its agenda will be disseminated directly to member societies by email and to the membership at large on the website. 


Read the whole column HERE