Here I am again, Francisco Cardoso, MDS President, to introduce you to a new issue of Moving Along. This time I will concentrate my words on a few things that took place in the very successful Madrid Congress.
I hope you had chance to be present in person in Madrid. It was a wonderful experience not only because of the high quality of the content of the Congress — and as a matter of fact, I am personally grateful to Steve Frucht, who as Chair of the Scientific Organizing Committee, did a wonderful job along with all the members of the CSPC — but there was something special this time around, which was to be back to an in-person meeting after two and a half years that have been so difficult for all of us because of the COVID pandemic. So it was really a wonderful experience. And we are also in debt to our local colleagues, led by our dear friend Dr. Pablo Martin Martinez, who was the chair of the Congress Local Organizing Committee. On a very short notice, they were able really to organize a wonderful experience in the beautiful city of Madrid.
But if for any reason you were not able to be present in Madrid, you may know that every single session of the Congress was recorded, and it's available on demand for free for all MDS members. So you just need to go to our website, www.movementdisorders.org, and then you can have access to the content of the Congress.
But I'd like really to talk to you about our business meeting. Like any other society, MDS needs to hold an annual business meeting, but I must tell you that at least in our case, this is not simply a mere bureaucratic formality. These are lively events where the President makes some announcements, and then afterwards, the secretary of the organization provides an overview of the membership, and whenever it is a year of elections, which will be in 2023, the elections take place during the business meeting. There is also a presentation by the treasurer of the Society. Each chair of each section of MDS, they come also to the podium to provide an overview of what has happened inside their sections over the past year. So I'd like to highlight a few points.
In terms of my report, not only I was really giving emphasis to the fact that we were back to an in-person meeting, but there were some very important announcements. And the most important one was the announcement of the Impact Factor of Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, which was really higher than we had expected, which is really evidence of the wonderful job done by our co-editors, Professor Kailash Bhatia and Professor Marcelo Merello. Kudos to the two of you, Marcelo and Kailash, and many tanks on behalf of MDS.
Regarding the report of the secretary, there was also a surprising finding: Despite all the hardships that we faced over this past two years because of COVID, surprisingly we were able to increase our membership. So we actually now have data from the end of the last year: More than 12,000 members, which is an astonishing number. I'm really very much happy over this steady growth of MDS.
Regarding our finances, we have a very solid financial situation. And I must share with the audience that one of the things that MDS is very proud of is the fact that we are a very transparent organization. So if you have any questions about our financial aspects, you just need to go to our webpage, where you have access to all this information. But I would really highlight that in terms of the solid financial situation, it is thanks to these substantial amount of resources that we have that we are able to provide education at a global level in many instances. As a matter of fact, I would say that probably in most instances, our educational offerings are not supported by private sponsors, industry for instance. So it's something that comes out of our fund. So it's really very important that we deal in a very cautious way with our finances.
In terms of the regions, all of them, despite the hardships of COVID, they have been extremely active with courses done in every region. And among the the four regions I would like really to to bring your attention to the African Section. The African Section is the youngest section, but despite the fact that it's very young, the amount of work that has been put on by Professor Okubadejo from Lagos, Nigeria, along with her colleagues, officers, and members of the executive committee, has allowed the African Section to undergo a remarkable growth. Just for you to have an idea, not a long time ago we had essentially around six members in Africa of the whole continent which is a huge continent of course but right now we have more than 700. So it is an exponential growth, and it reflects again the steady and wonderful work that has been done by the local leadership. So congratulations to the African Section.
But I would not like to neglect all the other regions, and I will mention a few highlights. For instance, in terms of Europe in this past June, myself, along with the local leadership, we had chance to sign a renewal of the important agreement between MDS and the European Academy of Neurologists. That agreement, it was signed during the annual meeting of the EAN that in this case took place in the wonderful Vienna in Austria.
The PAS held the very first in-person meeting of the post-COVID era, which was our very successful PAS Congress that was again held in Miami. It was a lot of enthusiasm. People are really extremely happy for the opportunity to be back to in-person gatherings. I was fortunate enough to to be present there. And congratulations to Susan Fox, the chair of the PAS Section for that.
And in terms of Asia, Asia holds a biannual Congress. And in this case, it will be in India next year. And Raymond Rosales, along with the local Indian colleagues, they are working hard on organizing this meeting. And the scientific program is already established. It's a wonderful opportunity, so you should really try, especially if you live in the AOS area, to come to India to Kolkata for attending this meeting that will be in March of 2023.
So it was very interesting business meeting, and at the end we had opportunity for taking questions from the audience and many people, distinguished members from MDS, they actually came to the microphone and we were able really to discuss important points related to the life of MDS. So I would like again to thank you very much for your attention, and I'm sure that you will have a great time reading this new issue of Moving Along.
Goodbye until next issue!