This is an invitation to all paediatric neurologists to join ICNA, an association that has repositioned itself to serve the needs of children with neurological and developmental conditions all over the world. Currently ICNA is represented by 6 major geographical areas with membership from 64 countries.
ICNA was founded in 1973 by a respected international group of paediatric neurologists who wished to advance the care of children with neurological problems throughout the world. The current mission of the association could be summarized as follows:
- To promote excellence in clinical care to children with neurological diseases globally
- To disseminate information by making relevant educational tools and opportunities available
- To foster evidence-based clinical and fundamental basic research
Yet, in order to do this the association has realized that it needs to reposition itself to meet the new challenges of this millennium effectively and timeously. After nearly 40 years the majority of paediatric neurologists worldwide had not joined the association. There may be many reasons for this, but it was clear that the association had to become more accessible to all.
It was also clear that in order to be an effective agent for improving neurological services worldwide, that the association not only promotes excellence in research and standards of care, but also specifically target countries and populations with limited resources, poor infra-structure and human resources to try and improve basic neurological care also for these children in need.
In order to meet the challenges, ICNA has embarked on the following:
- Scrapped all membership fees – this removes a financial barrier and allows all Pediatric neurologists to become active members of the association
- Simplified the application process and has established one membership category
- Established ICNApedia (http://www.icnapaedia.org) as an electronic flagship resource.There are network possibilities for research, scholarly pursuits and networking. It is fully integrated with Facebook and LinkedIn networks.Over a hundred hours of online lectures are currently available online. Besides the content on ICNApedia is available in multiple languages (currently 56 and counting)!
- Started an e-Journal – in order for ICNA to become a significant and leading intellectual role player in the field of child neurology internationally, the need to embark on an e-journal, to be edited by Prof Charles Newton, has become a priority. It is envisaged that the journal will provide a vehicle for rapid, free (at least initially), open access publication of child neurology papers.
Embarked on an outreach program to areas where a need had been identified, particularly in resource poor countries.
With the support of the President, Prof Harry Chugani, a workshop was arranged in Uganda. The theme was “Childhood epilepsy in resource poor countries” 1-4 February 2012. This meeting was attended by delegates from 19 counties in Africa.
The next workshop in Africa is being planned in Cape Town, February 2013. The meeting will focus on cerebral palsy (as requested by the delegates at the previous meeting) and there will also be a follow-up on the epilepsy meeting.
Mongolia – the first exploratory meetings will be held in October 2013. We will be represented by Banu Anlar & Linda De Meirleir.
Sponsoring regional education conferences and small teaching events
A workshop has been planned in Bangalore, 17-18 November, 2012. The theme for the meeting is “Childhood disability management for the Clinician – Doing it right in resource constraint settings” ICNA will be represented by Prof Michael Shevell and Pratibha Singhi.
The members of the Executive Board also make themselves available to give talks wherever the Board meets, usually in collaboration with e local Child Neurology Associations. A successful collaborative meeting was held in Prague in 2011, and the next collaborative meeting will be held in Kaunas, Lithuania in May 2013.
The ICNA has started a drive to collect used EEG equipment for use in Sub-Saharan countries encouraging collaboration with other international associations and societies such as International Pediatric Association (IPA), International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and World Federation of Neurologists (WFN). The ICNA has pledged its continuous support for the biannual international meetings. The next ICNC to be held in Brazil, Iguazu Falls 4-9 May, 2014. The ICNC for 2016 has been awarded to Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
ICNA has put several exciting and innovative processes in place to meet the challenges of becoming a truly representative international association to advocate for the optimal care of children with neurological problems worldwide by facilitating access for pediatric neurologists, through ICNApedia, establishing a vehicle for networking, developing research opportunities and the dissemination of relevant and up-to-date information and through international congresses and local workshops creating opportunities to up skill, teach and make state of the art information available to all professionals who manage children with neurological problems.
We would therefor like to extend a warm invitation to join this international organization. This is easily done by visiting our website http://www.icnapedia.org, where you could also learn more about our organization and the benefits to members. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any further queries, concerns or suggestions.
Hoping to hear from you soon.
Chairman: Finance Committee
ICNA Executive Board