Mental health

Atlas: Country resources for neurological disorders

Neurological disorders constitute a large and increasing share of the global burden of disease. There is paucity of information regarding national and subnational policies, programmes and resources for the treatment and management of neurological disorders. In order to decrease this information gap, the Project Atlas was extended to the area of neurology and neurological services, as the next logical step in the work of WHO in assessing country resources – and consequently country needs – to control mental and neurological disorders. The Atlas of Country Resources for Neurological Disorders (Neurology Atlas) is the result of this effort. It presents for the first time, the most comprehensive collection and compilation of information on neurological resources across 109 countries. The study is the result of a collaborative effort between the World Health Organization and the World Federation of Neurology. The Neurology Atlas is an illustrative presentation of data and information on the current status of neurological services and neurological care in different parts of the world. It highlights the large inequalities across regions and countries, with low-income countries disposing of extremely meagre resources.

We believe that the information presented in this volume will be useful for a large range of readers including policy-makers, health planners and specialists at international as well as national level. The results of the Neurology Atlas clearly establish the need for substantial increase in the neurology services. We also hope that personnel involved in caring for people with neurological disorders, including health professionals and nongovernmental organizations, will use the Neurology Atlas data in their advocacy efforts for more and better resources for neurological care. At the country level, the data summarized in the Neurology Atlas may be used for building up national programmes and development of strategies to improve control of neurological disorders, and their implementation at country level. In addition, the Neurology Atlas provides the opportunity for comparative analysis of available resources for neurological disorders across geographical regions and income groups of countries.

The material presented is a first snapshot of the actual global situation, and we are aware of gaps in information. We are planning to continue our work in this direction to provide more complete, accurate and comparable information in the coming years.

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