Nearly 2000 global neurosurgeons attended South Africa’s first opportunity to host the event.
Five days of stimulating presentations, incredible exhibitor demonstrations, and valuable networking for nearly 2000 international neurosurgeons – that was the hugely successful 18th World Congress of Neurosurgery in Cape Town, held from 4 to 8 December 2023.
Now that all delegates have safely returned to their far-flung countries of service, the congress’s hosts, the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) and the Society of Neurosurgeons of South Africa (SNSA), are reflecting on a job well done.
With several high-profile speakers on the programme including the esteemed humanitarian and founder of Gift of the Givers Foundation Dr Imtiaz Sooliman as well as Grégoire Courtine and Jocelyne Bloch of the Defitech Center for Interventional Neurotherapies, named .NeuroRestore who discussed their implantable technologies that regulate neurological functions and can improve the quality of life of people with neuromotor impairments. Overall, the five-day programme saw more than 900 presentations presented to the delegation.
An informal social programme of fun activities around Cape Town, entertainment by the iThemba Youth Choir, special welcomes from Geordin Hill-Lewis, the Mayor of Cape Town, Nelson Oyesiku, President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, Graham Fieggen, C
ongress President, Jeff Ntalaja, President of the Continental Association of African Neurosurgical Societies, and Anthony Figaji, Scientific Chair and President of the Society of Neurosurgeons of South Africa, helped to round out the programme.
The Scientific Programme Chair, Professor Anthony Figaji, was effusive in his praise for the congress:
“I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and appreciation expressed to me by people coming up to me every few minutes throughout the meeting. It’s been incredibly heart-warming and affirming that the hard work we put into this programme achieved its desired goal. We hope we have left everyone confident that neurosurgery in Africa has an exciting future, as does the WFNS.”
Several exciting announcements were made at the congress including the appointment of the first-ever female leader of the WFNS, Professor Najia El Abbadi, from Morocco.
The next Congress will be held in Madrid in 2025.