World Brain Day in Albania

By Jera Kruja

Albania, acknowledging the importance of air pollution as a risk factor for neurological disorders, organized a special event during World Brain Day. The conference was titled “Dita Botërore e Trurit: Ajër i Pastër për Tru të Shëndetshëm,” (“Clean air for brain health”).

Prof. Dr. Jera Kruja, head of the neurology service at the University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa,” advocated with the faculty of medicine at the University of Medicine, Tirana, and the Albanian Institute of Public Health to join efforts toward raising awareness on air pollution and its deleterious effects exerted on the brain. As a result, all three institutions participated actively in organizing and disseminating the information to health professionals and general public.

Besides Prof. Dr. Jera Kruja, speakers included Prof. Dr. Enver Roshi, head of the department of public health (faculty of medicine at the University of Medicine), Elida Mataj, MD, PhD, head of the environmental  epidemiology and air quality department (Institute of Public Health), Aida Quka, MD, neurologist, Neurology Service (University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa”).

The event, organized at the faculty of medicine, was attended by health professionals and the general public, which recognized the importance of air pollution and its consequences highlighting the seriousness, gravity, and urgency of public health preventive interventions tackling environmental pollution in general and air pollution in particular.

Moreover, the topic relevance and the speakers’ excellence were appraised from the National Center of Continuous Medical Education by accrediting the event with two CME credits. Additionally, special acknowledgment was attained from the Albanian representatives of the European Industrially Contaminated Sites and Health Network.

Furthermore, the conference was reported by national television and press, and special interviews were given by the speakers addressing the general public in an effort to raise awareness on air pollution. •

Jera Kruja, MD, is a professor of neurology and head of the neurology service at the University of Medicine, Tirana, UHC Mother Teresa, Tirana, Albania, a member of the WFN Teaching Courses Committee, a former member of the European Academy of Neurology Scientific Committee, and Lancet commissioner for LMIC.