The development of Neurosurgery in Asia was random and sporadic. It was limited to a few countries to start with and the other countries lagged behind with terms of Neurosurgical facilities.
While most countries started off late or did not bloom with respect to the departments of Neurosurgery, Japan was among one of the world leaders in Neurosurgery with a huge number of Neurosurgeons, research in neurosciences and very refined techniques fusing both technology and refined surgical skills to achieve some remarkable results in various subspecialties of Neurosurgery. Fujita University and its Neurosurgeons always aspired to better the benchmarks set.
Dr. Tetsuo Kanno had always been a visionary. He is a celebrated Neurosurgeon both in Japan and the world. He had travelled around Asia and found that there were huge lacunae in the Neurosurgical care in Asian countries. This was mainly because most of the young Neurosurgeons were not exposed to world class conferences or training in Neurosurgery. He started the program of inviting young Neurosurgeons from all over Asia to the famed Fujita Institute to impart training and expose them to various subspecialties of Neurosurgery. He also asked them about their views on improving the quality of Neurosurgery in Asia. It was understood that there was no unified body to coordinate the development of Neurosurgery in Asia.
Dr. Kanno sought ways to start a congress of Neurosurgeons in the Asian continent which was accessible to all the Neurosurgeons in Asia. For this he took the help of a few eminent Neurosurgeons in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. Thus the idea of an Asian Congress was conceived along with Dr. Tomio Ohta, Dr. Kazuo Hashi, the late Dr. Iftikar Ali Raja and Dr. Yoko Kato.
The first ACNS meet was organized in Toyota under the tutelage of Dr. Tetsuo Kanno and by the time the 8th congress was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia over 750 participants from 45 countries had come to witness the present advances in Asian Neurosurgery. Everybody learnt something and this was the beauty of these interactions. Moreover, young Neurosurgeons got to participate with support from the congress and they did benefit a lot.
In 2007, Dr. Kanno organized a WFNS interim meet and AACNS. He invited over 400 young Neurosurgeons from developing countries all over the world and was magnanimous enough to make sure that even their airfare was taken care of. Many educational seminars and Hands on Workshops were conducted. This was again a glowing example of reaching out to the Young Neurosurgeons and ensuring better quality of future Neurosurgery for Asia and the World.
Dr. Kato had been a pillar of support to the ACNS right from the beginning. Her sincere and patient efforts to bring cutting edge Neurosurgery to the masses in Asia resulted in a number of residents from developing countries being trained and exposed to various subspecialties of Neurosurgery at Fujita. Her tireless effort for getting the women in Asian Neurosurgery to the forefront is also to be lauded.
The Asian Journal was started in the year 2007. This was a landmark for the young Neurosurgeons of Asia aspiring to publish their articles in a world class journal. Within a short span the Asian journal of neurosurgery has been noticed by the world and we hope that it continues to grow. Many an article being published is very innovative to say the least. This also paves way for the world to know about the innovations happening in the Asian scenario.
The Nurses wing has been started from the 8th ACNS and this provides educative experience for Nurses all over Asia. Many Nurses from developing countries have been invited to Fujita to provide them varied exposure to the subspecialties of neurosurgery.
Unlike starting a rich organization with rich members, ACNS and its founders faced a tough roadblock while trying to get the developing nations on board to the council. The financial constraints for conferences and other activities were evident from the word go. This has been rectified to a limit with active participation and cooperation from various members and although the scenario is improving, more and more resources needs to be found without hurting the scope of Neurosurgeons from developing countries to attend conferences.
While a lot has been achieved there is still a long way to go with respect to the scenario of Neurosurgery in Asia. There are still countries in Asia where there is a single Neurosurgeon. These issues have to be addressed in the future and every patient in Asia has to get an equal and quality Neurosurgical care. Research should flourish and cutting edge discoveries and radical innovations should come from Asia and this should be the future directive of the Asian congress.