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Subregional and Interregional Organisation Task Force (SIROTF)

Commission Members

Martin Brodie, Chair
Peter Wolf
Yoshiaki Mayanagi, Chair (or deputy) of each Regional Commission


  • To help develop the philosophy, structure and function of the Regional Commissions of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)
  • To help link the work of the Regional Commissions with that of the Executive Committee of the ILAE and vice versa

Progress continues in setting up and developing the six regional commissions of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). The goal is to bring each to a similar stage of development and, thereafter,
stimulate fruitful interaction among them. This will take a number of years to complete. Given that each
chairman already provides a detailed report of his organisation’s activities, I will confine myself to a brief overview of progress in each region.

European Affairs
(Chair: Svein Johannessen)

This commission continued to work well and be imaginative in developing its programme. The 6th European Congress on Epileptology took place in Vienna from 30 May until 3 June 2004. More than 3,000 delegates took part in an excellent scientific programme. The next congress is scheduled for Helsinki, Finland in 2006. This commission continues to focus particularly on improving education and clinical services in Central and Eastern Europe.

Asian and Oceanian Affairs
(Chair: Chong Tin Tan)

This commission continues to develop satisfactorily with a particularly strong educational agenda. This has culminated in the setting up of the Asian Epilepsy Academy. Arrangements are well developed for the 5th Asian and Oceanian Epilepsy Congress in Bangkok 28-31 August 2004.

Latin American Affairs
(Chair: Juvenal Gutierrez Moctezuma)

Development of this regional agenda is slowly progressing. Members of the commission are starting to cooperate in identifying their priorities. The 3rd Latin American Congress was held successfully in Mexico City 2-5 July 2004. Much discussion took place regarding the specific problems of the region and how best to coordinate the educational agenda. This will lead toward greater focus on young scientists and clinicians that will culminate in an innovative programme for the 4th regional congress in Guatamala City in 2006.

Eastern Mediterranean Affairs
(Chair: Basim Yaqub)

This regional agenda was kick started at the inaugural meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 15 January 2004. A structure and constitution were agreed upon and a number of educational courses arranged for later this year. Egypt will host the CEMA Symposium in 2006. The concept of a regional epilepsy academy also was embraced in Jeddah.

North American Commission
(Chair: Jeffrey Noebels)

There continues to be some difficulty in identifying an appropriate agenda parallel to that of the American Epilepsy Society.

African Affairs

Some of the problems in setting up the African Commission have been identified, but progress is slow towards identifying a workable structure. The president will appoint a group of individuals to form this commission.

Overall, there is good progress in pursuing the regionalisation of the 92 ILAE chapters.

Helping colleagues in different parts of the world develop their individual regional agendas remains the best way of coordinating a truly global
epilepsy programme. Some regions will need substantial financial support, while others will
generate sufficient funds for their immediate needs via successful biannual congresses. Coordination of these efforts should take place once all the
regional structures have been established.


Commission Chair
European Svein Johannessen (Norway)
Asian/Oceanian Chong Tin Tan (Malaysia)
Latin American Juvenal Gutierrez Moctezuma (Mexico)
North American Jeffrey Noebels (USA)
Eastern Mediterranean Basim Yaqub (Saudi Arabia)
African Not yet identified

Martin Brodie has been appointed ex-officio member of all Regional Commissions.


Regional Commissions will consist of representatives elected by local Chapters together with a chairman and secretary appointed by the president of the ILAE. Chapters can belong to only one region.

Regional Commissions can expect to meet 1 to 3 times a year and must submit annual reports and budgets to the Executive Committee of the ILAE.

Regional Councils can be set up to include members from all local Chapters. Councils are expected to meet once per year.

Regional Commissions should aim to develop, stimulate and coordinate an epileptology agenda appropriate to their part of the world.

Regional Commissions should promote the activities of local Chapters, encourage similar policies and administrative structures among local Chapters, and facilitate their involvement within the global ILAE agenda.

Regional Commissions should coordinate local educational activities via the formation of a regional epilepsy academy.

Regional Commissions should run their congresses under the auspices of the ILAE/IBE organisation. Similar guidelines should govern all regional international congresses.

Regional Commissions should review epilepsy services and the size of the treatment gap in each country and aim to improve the former and reduce the latter.

Regional Commissions should develop a Declaration on Epilepsy with the aim of stimulating local medico-political initiatives and improving patient care.

The Task Force will assist Regional Commissions in defining their constitution, which should be concordant with ILAE structures, regulations and programmes.

The Task Force will help broker two-way communication between Regional Commissions and the Executive Committee of the ILAE dealing, in
particular, with local problems or controversies.

The Task Force will help identify and develop projects common to all regions.

Martin Brodie

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