Moroccan Foundation of Neurology

Representatives met in May 2012 to discuss a foundation dedicated to developing neurological

Representatives met in May 2012 to discuss developing neurological sciences in the fight against neurological diseases in Morocco.

The World Congress of Neurology, organized by the Moroccan Society of Neurology in Marrakesh, November 2011, was a great success at both the scientific and organizational level. Moreover, the conference has generated substantial financial benefits for both the Moroccan Society of Neurology and the World Federation of Neurology, which will devote 20 percent of its profits to the development of neurology in Africa.

Moroccan neurologists met in May 2012 and unanimously decided to devote all profits obtained by the Moroccan Society of Neurology to the creation of a foundation dedicated to the development of neurological sciences and the fight against neurological diseases in Morocco.

Indeed, Morocco is experiencing a delay in neurology and care of neurological diseases even compared to countries of the same level of economic development. The number of neurologists remains low: 170 (counting the neurologists in training) for a population of 32 million. Besides, there are few hospital beds dedicated to neurology, and CT scans are only available in large cities.

The country has worrying indicators in public health. Neonatal and perinatal morbidity, which remain high, are causing a large number of children to experience neurodevelopmental disorders responsible for motor and cognitive disabilities that require rehabilitation throughout their lives.

In addition, urbanization, changing lifestyles and increasing life expectancy have caused a rapid epidemiological transition that led to an increase in diseases related to aging. Thus, an epidemiological survey conducted in Rabat and Casablanca in 2009, showed that the prevalence of stroke in people aged 65 years and older was 25 per 1,000. This is almost equal to that found in industrialized countries. As for dementia, the report of the WHO in 2012 estimated the number to be 100,000 cases. Also, Morocco suffers from an unusually high number of road traffic accidents responsible for head injuries and neurological disorders.

Faced with this alarming situation, the foundation is focused on these objectives:

  • To advocate for the increase of the number of neurologists and other caregivers in the neurological field
  • To advocate for a policy of prevention of neurological diseases in both children and adults
  • To promote a better understanding of neurological diseases among the general population
  • To fight against the stigmatization of patients with neurological diseases
  • To inform national policymakers of the urgency to implement a policy of neurological diseases in Morocco
  • To support education and research in neurology
  • To promote the highest standards of ethics and practice in neurological sciences

By its bylaws, the Moroccan Foundation of Neurology is a non-profit organization that can receive donations from persons, associations and governments to accomplish its objectives. The foundation also aims to develop cooperation with other similar institutions in Africa and in the Arab world to improve neurological care in these regions.

The Moroccan Foundation of Neurology, with active support from the World Federation of Neurology, the World Health Organization and other international institutions, will undoubtedly succeed in its mission to improve the lives of patients with neurological diseases.