The World Health Organization (WHO) designated neurological disorders as one of the greatest threats to global public health. These disorders - stroke, epilepsy, dementia, headache, neuropathy, spine disorders - are more prevalent in the developing nations, leading to severe disability which results in lost income, fewer opportunities, and increased vulnerability. These noncommunicable diseases are rapidly increasing, along with persistent communicable diseases and increasing injuries, all complicated by a severe global shortage of trained neurological professionals.
Ethiopia, for example, has only one neurologist for every 4 to 5 million people. Since over three-quarters of the world population lives in low- to middle-income countries that are experiencing rapid population growth, similar statistics are present in many areas.
The WHO has launched global health initiatives that aim to increase professional and public awareness of neurological disorders across the globe. Additionally, organizations such as Global NeuroCare and Global Neurology are addressing the problem in several developing nations. By forming critical partnerships with universities, hospitals, and clinics, these organizations are working toward improved care and self-sustaining programs expected to enjoy long-term success.
Global NeuroCare is in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations ECOSOC, and Dr. James C. Johnston serves as a Delegate to the UN providing expert analysis and recommendations on improving healthcare access, especially in the least developed nations. Dr. Johnston focuses on a collaborative approach, which guides Global NeuroCare and Global Neurology in advancing standards of care, training physicians, and conducting medical research on a global scale.