Brain Day today

ISLAMABAD - World Federation of Neurology (WFN) is all set to launch the first World Brain Day, an event dedicated to bringing more attention to the importance of brain health and the prevention of brain diseases, a largely underestimated health problem, today (Tuesday).

Shifa International Hospital (SIH) in collaboration with Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN) on Monday organised an awareness campaign to formally participate in the global launching of World Brain Day.

Pakistan is also observing the first ever World Brain Day, in connection with its global launching, to increase public awareness and promote advocacy on brain health. The theme chosen for first year's campaign is "our brain - our future". The event is taking place in collaboration with WFN and neurological societies worldwide including PSN. The date for the new awareness day was not randomly chosen. The WFN was founded on July 22, 1957 in Brussels.

Shifa International Hospital published, displayed and distributed awareness literature including banners and posters which were displayed in various hospitals and health facilities in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and brochures were distributed among patients to raise mass awareness about brain health. Medical students, doctors and hospital staff actively participated in celebrating the event by wearing badges.

Dr Maimoona Siddiqui, Shifa's consultant and head of neurology department, quoting World Federation of Neurology said that brain disorders, including mental, neurological and substance-use conditions, amount to 13 per cent of the global burden of disease, surpassing both cardiovascular disease and cancer. Many of them are preventable and treatable if treated without any delay. 

She said neurological diseases affecting the brain include stroke, epilepsy, depression, tumours, traumatic injury, Alzheimer's disease, infections, headaches, sleep disorders and genetic disorders. Some of the contributing factors to these diseases are use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol, uncontrolled blood sugar and cholesterol levels. A healthy lifestyle with good exercise, eating healthy, reading and problem solving promotes brain health, she remarked. Professor and consultant neurologist SIH, Dr Arsalan Ahmad, said that launching of World Brain Day will prove to be helpful for preventing neurological diseases which are carrying an enormous burden on a developing country like Pakistan.

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