International Spinal Cord Society | ISCoS
The International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS, formerly IMSoP) promotes the highest standard of care in the practice of spinal cord injury for men, women and children throughout the world. Through its medical and multi disciplinary team of Professionals ISCoS endeavours to foster education, research and clinical excellence.
ISCoS has a membership of Clinicians and Scientists from 87 countries. They regularly update their knowledge at the Annual Scientific Meeting held in a different country each year. ISCoS is continuously expanding both in membership and new horizons.
SPINAL CORD and SPINAL CORD SERIES & CASES are the official Journals of the International Spinal Cord Society and is the forum that attracts publications from clinicians and basic scientists who work in the field of Spinal Injuries.
ISCoS 2023 Annual meeting
ISCoS Statement on Sudan – April 20, 2023
On the morning of April 15th, 2023 fighting erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in the capital Khartoum and other main cities. Civilians, aid workers and health workers are not protected. The violence has continued, with reports of more than 3000 wounded and at least 296 deaths, including spinal cord injuries from gunshot. The health and humanitarian crisis is escalating, with hospitals overwhelmed, supplies diminishing, and health and aid workers and civilians at ongoing risk.
ISCoS joins the international humanitarian community in pleading for a cease to the violence, and adherence to safe and unrestricted access to health services for all in need as an obligation under International Humanitarian Law. The protection of wounded and sick, health workers and facilities is paramount.
Updated reports can be followed on ReliefWeb, a service of the United Nationals Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) https://reliefweb.int.
International Spinal Cord Society welcomes the new landmark resolution on
“Strengthening Rehabilitation in Health Systems”
On the 27th May 2023 the World Health Assembly endorsed the historic resolution on strengthening rehabilitation in health systems.
The resolution calls for expanding and integrating rehabilitation into health systems as part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), emphasizing the importance of rehabilitation in primary care and as part of emergency preparedness and response.
The resolution expresses deep concern that rehabilitation needs are largely unmet globally, particularly in Low- and Mid-income countries. It is estimated that in some of these countries more than 50% of people do not receive the rehabilitation services they need.
The resolution recognizes that rehabilitation requires more attention by policymakers and domestic and international actors when setting health priorities and allocating resources. It highlights that rehabilitation related workforce is insufficient in number and quality to serve the needs of the population.
The resolution sends a clear message that urgent action is required to address the lack of access to quality rehabilitation services around the world. Through our work globally ISCoS are aware of the great unmet need for rehabilitation that leads to significant health and economic burdens for individuals, families, and communities.
The resolution will provide governments and non-state actors with the impetus and guidance for action going forward. ISCOS recognizes the significance of this resolution and is committed to working with our partners to advance its practical implementation through for example:
- Supporting governments and other stakeholders to develop and strengthen quality, accessible and affordable spinal cord injury (SCI) services.
- Strengthening the competency of the SCI workforce and increasing access to quality SCI training materials and opportunities.
- Working in collaboration globally to support emergencies and sudden-onset humanitarian disaster planning, preparedness, response and recovery for persons with SCI.
Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis:
With the global community, we share in the sorrow and have deep concern for the people affected by the events in Ukraine. The horrific war has created a humanitarian crisis that requires cooperative international efforts now, and for the foreseeable future. ISCoS recognises that in emergencies and conflicts, persons with disability are particularly vulnerable, and such disasters will also inflict new trauma, including spinal cord injuries. Health workers and systems are directly impacted by overwhelming needs in the face of damaged or destroyed infrastructure, depleted resources and personal safety risks.
ISCoS is committed to working collaboratively with partners and lead organizations to assist and support the humanitarian response. We seek to ensure that the current and future rehabilitation needs of people are coordinated and based on needs identified by our professional colleagues and the communities in which they are working. ISCoS is a signatory to a Joint Statement on Coordinating Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology as Part of a Humanitarian Response in Ukraine.
Through the ISCoS External Relations Committee, and its Disaster Sub-Committee, ISCoS communicates with the World Health Organisation and other allied Non-State Actors, where we strive to call attention to the unique needs of persons with spinal cord injuries and those providing care for such trauma. We will aim to keep our members updated as to initiatives, developments, and needs, and provide links to resources and programs as available. As an example, our colleagues of the European Spinal Cord Injury Federation with support of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation and the German Spinal Injuries Association are operating a Safe House near the border in Poland as shelter and meeting point for war refuges with disability ESCIF Safe house - European Spinal Cord Injury FederationEuropean Spinal Cord Injury Federation
Working collaboratively with WHO, Ministry of Health and International Partner Organisations we anticipate future roles including support for training, navigation for SCI resources and long-term rebuilding of the devastated health systems.