World Stroke Organization Puts Anti-Stroke Fight as Top Priority

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During the World Stroke Day yesterday, the World Stroke Organization (WSO) has declared their solidarity with patients, stroke survivors and their loved ones. WSO President Bo Norrving warned that, “”The global burden of stroke has reached epidemic proportions and the situation will not improve until strong actions are taken.”

Each year, there is an estimated 15 million people who suffer from stroke. A person die from stroke every six seconds, approximately. Stroke is claimed as the number two leading cause of death among people aged 60 years and above as it kills almost six million people each year. It is the fifth leading cause of mortality for people aged 15 to 59 years old. More than that, it is the largest cause of long-term debilitation regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or country. Stroke kills more than the combined sum of all people who died of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, each year.

The World Stroke Organization pleads on all members worldwide to put pressure on their governments to be vigilant and enact policies which will emphasize the urgency of fights against stroke. This way, the national public health agenda can place this concern on top the list of their priorities.

Prof. Norrving mentioned that:

“Recent stroke facts remain grim: there are few signs pointing to a decline in the incidence of strokes. Stroke risk facts remain under managed globally.”

The WSO continuously intensified educating the people and raising public awareness in the second year of its “1 in 6” campaign. The said campaign was named as such to reflect the fact that one out six people is expected to suffer a stroke during their life. The key strategies of the campaign are the following:

-         Stroke can be prevented

-         Stroke can be treated

-         Stroke can be managed in the long-term

Prof. Norrving points out that,”these messages may sound simple, but they are powerful. We need to use this powerful simplicity to improve public health for stroke.”

This year, leaders who are focused on targeting on eliminating stroke have been very active in raising the awareness of key opinion leaders of heads of state and health policy experts. This is done in order to place more emphasis on fighting the said disease. WSO leaders were invited and have become active at numerous key events during 2011, and one of these events is the first Russian Ministerial Meeting on Non-Communicable Disease and Healthy Lifestyles. The said event was conducted in Moscow. Another is the United Nations High Level Summit of NCD Prevention and Control in New York. Also, earlier this month, various health leaders have converged in Rio De Janeiro Brazil for the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health.

According to Professor Markku Kaste, chair of the Anti-Stroke campaign: “In 2011, three-quarters of all individuals that have suffered from a stroke live in resource-constrained countries where health systems are already challenged to the limit.” He urged: ” We must act now before it is too late.”




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