Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects roughly 69 million individuals per year, many of who reside in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).1 While there exist several limitations to treating TBI in LMICs, many can be properly addressed if given the attention and focus required to usher in change. Case in point, the governing body of neurotrauma literature is produced in high-income countries (HICs), which pose additional constraints in settings with limited medical equipment, health infrastructure, and available staff, as seen in several LMICs.1-3 In addition, approximately 23 300 additional neurosurgeons are required to address more than 5 million essential neurosurgical cases that are unmet annually, all of which occur in LMICs.4 We believe operationalizing global neurosurgery research in neurosurgical journals can serve to bridge this gap and provide a space for leaders across the world to share pearls of knowledge toward reducing the global burden of neurological diseases and disorders, including TBI.
Fortunately, there is a growing movement to ensure the provision of timely, safe, and affordable neurosurgical care to all individuals who require it. In 2015, the Lancet commission on surgery published an article that brought attention to the need for neurosurgical enhancement on a global scale.5 This group offered targets focusing on increasing access to surgery and expanding knowledge of barriers to equitable care in LMICs by the year 2030. Still, inequities in access to neurosurgical care remain rampant, stressing a need for targeted efforts as potential remedy.
Global Neurosurgery has gained significant momentum as evident by the upward trend of peer-reviewed abstracts and articles submitted and published in neurosurgical journals. A PubMed search of the phrase “global neurosurgery” displays an ascending trend with 3 published articles in 2015, 42 articles in 2018, and 82 in the year 2020.6 This positive trend speaks to the impact of efforts made by communities such as The Lancet, the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS), Global Neurosurgery Committee (GNC), American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), and many other organizations aimed at strengthening neurosurgery globally. Global neurosurgery conferences provide additional unique opportunities to connect partners in LMICs and HICs to develop education, advocacy, and policy. Importantly, the rise in the digital world amid the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled participants—particularly from LMICs—to overcome barriers such as visa acquisition, funding for travel and lodging, and time away from school and/or work.7,8