Candidate Statement for Elected Trustee: Prof. Tissa Wijeratne

What an exciting time to be in the WFN. It is an incredible honor to have been nominated for the trustee position in the upcoming election this year. Brain health is in peril globally. One in three of us has a brain disorder. Every one of us will experience disability (temporary or permanent) during our lifetime. The potential for prevention is enormous. Brain disorders are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death globally. Two-thirds of these occur in low- to middle-income countries. Different regions of high-income countries demonstrate vast disparities in awareness, education, access to care, prevention, and rehabilitation. I have seen this imbalance in care firsthand during my youth in rural Sri Lanka, followed by culturally and linguistically diverse communities representing 166 nations in Western suburbs in Melbourne, Australia.

Tissa Wijeratne

Tissa Wijeratne

I believe WFN can build on the successes of the last few decades, capitalize on IGAP, and advocate more for quality neurology and better brain health by improving local engagement and activities.

If elected, I will seek to enhance the inclusiveness and constant collaboration already at our society’s heart. We shall continue to work hard to support movers and shakers in brain health worldwide — not only neurologists, academics, and industry, but also the billions of patients and families experiencing the effects of brain disorders.

Advocacy and supporting local advocates will be a crucial component of my global vision for quality neurology and better brain health. We will continue to assist national societies, health ministers and ministries, aiming to deliver the IGAP for all neurological disorders in all regions during the next decade. Educational programs, grants, symposia, CME, traveling fellowships, accreditation, and postgraduate training programs will all be added to, enhanced or, in some cases, newly developed to help address this need globally. We are already doing a lot, but we can and will do more. Our many activities will continue to bring neurologists worldwide together, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard. Committee representation, additional scientific activities, and other advocacy campaigns shall be the tools we use to achieve this goal.

The WFN needs hard-working men and women who can dedicate themselves to improving brain health worldwide. To cohesively solve the issues facing neurologists across the globe, we can listen to, discuss, and assimilate the ideas of many. I will bring these qualities to our leadership group.

As you know, I have already represented the global neurology community in WFN activities for nearly two decades. I am ideally poised to take up the responsibilities of a trustee, as I bring experience from both sides of the world — from rural Sri Lanka to Australia and beyond.

The World Brain Day campaign has already reached out to over a billion people since its genesis in 2014. Yet, there is more ground to cover, but our goals are achievable. With our already talented team, we can work together on this critically important task now.

See more about me on my website. I am on WhatsApp at +61430048730 if you need to clarify anything with me directly. •