Chief Coordinator and Editor

"Life after a spinal cord injury… can be happy, meaningful and worth living."

This statement would have been almost impossible to believe even as recently as around seven decades ago. In fact, till then, spinal cord injury had been described as "an ailment not to be treated". Ever since management of such injuries was revolutionized during the second world war, continuous advances have enhanced the management to the level that the statement holds true today.

Sadly however, there is a substantial gap between "the possible" and that "actually available" to the people living with this devastating injury. We are all aware that many spinal injured people are not managed appropriately at the first opportunity. However the good news is that changing this scenario does not require a large effort or economic resources; all it needs is awareness and availability of knowledge amongst health professionals, as well as, people with spinal cord injury & their families, health service providers, policy makers and the community in general.

Recognizing this, ISCoS conceived this landmark educational resource with a mission to improve the quality of lives of people living with spinal cord injury through creating awareness about spinal cord injury management.

elearnSCI.org is unique on several counts. It is the first such educational resource. Despite the expense involved and the huge contribution from 332 experts from 33 countries, it is available globally totally free of charge. The inputs by experts from all over the globe has ensured that the information available is applicable globally irrespective of the socio-economic and cultural background of the region. In addition there is a consumer input to the resource, thus taking care of this most important perspective. Moreover all the experts have contributed voluntarily to this endeavour.

We are grateful to everybody who has contributed to this global initiative. It is not possible to acknowledge all of them by name since the list is exhaustive. We thank all concerned from the organizations which are collaborating partners of ISCoS for this project namely Asian Spinal Cord Network (ASCoN), Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), Livability and The Lifetime Care and Support Scheme. We thank all the experts who have voluntarily contributed to the educational resource, the ISCoS Executive for their constant guidance and support, ISCoS Education Committee for conceiving the project and overseeing it, ISCoS Scientific Committee for their inputs for the whole project, ISCoS General Body for supporting the whole project, the elearnSCI.org Editorial Committee for putting in endless number of hours, both in person at Delhi and over the electronic medium (to quote one of them "I have gotten used to starting my days with a flurry of emails from Dr. Chhabra and his ISIC team each morning."), Himanshu and his team from Grapes Software for slogging with the team to develop the web platform and upload the educational resource, Sunita Khosla for doing the proof reading free of charge…….. the list is endless. Special mention must be made of my Co-Project Managers, Lisa and Stephen who have toiled day in and day out since the project was conceived and helped bring the dream to reality. A very special mention also, of Dr. Shipra Chaudhary, Project Coordinator, Mr. Mohit Arora, Project Deputy Coordinator and the entire ISIC team which has burnt the midnight oil and contributed on all aspects of the project. Without them it would have been impossible to achieve our goals. We also acknowledge all those who have worked behind the scenes for the project.

On behalf of ISCoS, a very special thanks to Access to Healthcare for having funded this project and without whose support this project would not have been possible.

The successful launch of the project brings to frutition the unparalleled global contribution of a large number of experts. However the launch should not make us complacent. The project has to be a dynamic one, with a need to continuously improve the resource, based on the feedback and developments in knowledge and technology.

I sincerely hope you enjoy going through this innovative ISCoS initiative and provide us with your feedback.

Dr. HS Chhabra
Past Chairman Education Committee – ISCoS
Project Manager - Educational Resource Development
Chief Coordinator and Editor – ElearnSCI.org
Chief of Spine Service & Medical Director,
Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, India