by Isabella Colonna
The EAN Advocacy Talk ‘EFNA ONEUrology’ ran live on EAN TV on Monday 21 June at 12.45 and was moderated by Conny Lee. Invited guests were Prof. David Vodusek, chair of the EAN International Liaison Group, and Donna Walsh, Executive Director of the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA).
Prof. Vodusek started the talk by reporting data from the WHO, showing that there are over 400 neurological disorders and that the number of patients affected by neurological diseases increased about 40% over the past thirty years. The risk of dying from neurological diseases has increased for more than half of countries worldwide and, currently, neurological disorders represent the second leading cause of death worldwide. Moreover, neurological diseases are responsible for high societal and care costs.
The EFNA executive director, Donna Walsh, introduced the ‘One Neurology initiative’ which has been launched this year by EFNA and EAN and has the aim of increasing awareness about neurological disorders. Although neurological diseases are very heterogenous, they have many challenges in common, such as fighting stigma and finding their space in the public health agenda. It is important to consider the spectrum of neurological conditions as whole and advocate for it.
As Prof. Vodusek reported, neurological disorders have been neglected in the public health agenda. Both guests agreed that this is the right time to unite and strengthen neurological and patient societies in order to advocate for neurological patients and make neurology a global public health priority.