Dear friends and colleagues,
The ESO-WSO Stroke Conference on November 7-9 is approaching. Hopefully you have already signed up. September 22 is the deadline for late braking trials. A lot of exciting science will be ready for you. Also controversial topics with the popular pro and con statements, special sessions and hot topics are covered. There will be opportunities for virtual meetings and industry visits. Looking forward to meet you there!
For the WSO, a number of joint activities are coming up.
On September 11 we are virtually attending the Thai Stroke Conference and giving away the WSO Angel Awards for the second time. Among the prized stroke services are 2 hospitals that will receive the Diamond Award. This highest of all Angel awards applies to centers that treat more than 75 % of stroke patients with a door-to-needle time of less than 60 minutes. Congratulations to the Prasat Neurological Institute and Thammasat University Hospital. Further nine hospital receive Platinum and further 17 hospitals receive the Gold Award.
On October 10, Prof. Bruce Campbell from Melbourne, Australia, shall attend on behalf of WSO the The World Federation of Neurology and the African Academy of Neurology workshop during the 1st WFN/AFAN e-learning Day. He will speak on “Stroke, a Treatable and Preventable Disease”.
The WSO will be attending a Joint Session with the World Congress of Neurorehabilitation on October 11 discussing neurorehabilitation in LMICs and new techniques of neurorehabilitation usable on a global scale.
Recent activities are listed below in this letter and include the WHO South-East Asia Regional Health Partners’ Forum held on July 29. Prof Jeyaraj D Pandian, Vice President of WSO, participated in this virtual meeting on Maintaining Essential Health Services and Systems during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He is planning a follow-up event for the WHO South East Asia
Region on October 29th which will focus on ‘Improving Stroke Care Services’ in the region.
On December4/5 the GAINS workshop will take place: ‘Creating the next generation of stroke researchers amongst our early career investigators. This virtual 2-day meeting is organized by Julie Bernhard, Andrew Demchuk, Else Sandset and colleagues as a joint effort of ESO, WSO and the GAINS Group.
Of note, together with the President of the World Heart Federation, Prof. Karen Sliva, I have co-authored a ‘WSO and WHF Joint Position Statement on Population-Wide Prevention Strategies’, which was published in the Lancet on August 22. In this communication we argue for the urgent need to focus on prevention based on the entire population more than on individual screening of high-risk persons. Only the population approach will guarantee a significant decline of heart disease and stroke. Government action such as enforcing recognition and assessment but also taxation of sugar drinks, alcohol and tobacco as well as promoting physical activity are political health issues of high order. Embedded in free or affordable universal health coverage large significant effects will be shown. This proclamation was accompanied by a WSO webinar held on September 2 called ‘A Wake-up Call for Governments’ which was hosted by the WSO and attended by invited speakers Valery Feigin, Jeyaraj Pandian and Sheila Martins.
Finally, I want to welcome the new co-chairs of the Guideline Committee, Dr. Gillian Mead from the University of Edinburgh and Dr. Arturo Rabinstein from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. They will take over from Dr. Pooja Khatri and Dr. Guillaume Turc. A large workload is waiting and we wish them good luck and lots of success!
Also, a warm welcome to the new co- chairs of the Congress Planning Committee, Dr. Sean Savitz, Houston, and Dr. Stefan Kiechl, Innsbruck!
Michael Brainin MD
Achieving our vision of a life free from stroke is a task that WSO cannot achieve alone. We are committed to building our partnerships at the global, regional and national level to scale up and deliver improvements in prevention, treatment and support to reduce the burden of stroke.