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Honoured to contribute: Parkinson Canada reflects on the World Health Organization’s Parkinson’s disease technical brief

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The Parkinson’s Disease Technical Brief is a first-of-its-kind nod to the Global state of Parkinson’s accompanied by strategies to improve upon it. Parkinson Canada’s Vice President of Community Engagement, Jacquie Micallef, and Manager of Strategic Projects and Knowledge Mobilization, Maria Marano, were proud to join and collaborate with over 40 Parkinson’s organizations from around the world. Canadians impacted by Parkinson’s have a unique and valuable perspective. It’s because you allow us to come along this journey with you that Parkinson Canada was able to bring value to this initiative.

From the two-day workshop and nearly a year’s worth of continued collaboration in developing the final resource, came a global-scale understanding about the state of Parkinson’s and led to workable avenues for action, with an emphasis on low-and-middle-income countries (LMIC).

When the World Health Organization (WHO) approached Parkinson Canada to participate in the development of the Parkinson’s Technical Brief, we knew the Canadian perspective could bring much value to the conversation. What we didn’t know was how validating it would be to learn that many of the challenges Canadians living with Parkinson’s face are echoed across the globe, like geographical barriers impeding our ability to connect with movement disorder specialists and neurologists. It also illuminated many of the privileges we as Canadians have when faced with a Parkinson’s diagnosis, like our ability to access basic medications to manage Parkinson’s symptoms compared to other members of the Parkinson’s community living in low-and-middle-income countries.

The World Health Organization is paying attention

Knowing that the cause we have committed ourselves to is top of mind for the WHO has invigorated our own advocacy efforts here at home. The resulting strategies from the technical brief have fueled our advocacy engines as we gained immeasurable perspective from the contributors who joined us in this global initiative to take action against Parkinson’s. Just as the impact of Parkinson’s is widespread, so too is the Parkinson’s community who works tirelessly to share knowledge and support one another.

“We look forward to working with these global partners more in the future,” says Maria.

Read the full technical brief here

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