October 29th is observed as the World Stroke Day every year across the world, to emphasise the serious nature and high rates of stroke, raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of the condition, and ensure better care and support for survivors. Stroke has been and continues to be a widespread disease worldwide, afflicting over 15 million people each year. Of those 15 million, almost six million die and a further five million are left permanently disabled
The theme for this year is “Support”. World Stroke Organisation (WSO) which had started this annual event declared stroke a public health emergency in 2010. Organisations around the world have facilitated events emphasising education, testing, and initiatives to improve the damaging effects of stroke worldwide.
A person suffers from a stroke due to a lack of blood supply to parts of the brain, which causes brain cells to die or leads to extensive damage. It can affect mobility and speech, among other physical difficulties. Strokes cause more deaths annually than those due to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined together and yet it remains a silent epidemic (Source: World Stroke Campaign)
Suffering a stroke can cause many major and challenging mental and physical changes; but, continuing to work toward recovery is important. So, what can save you from getting a stroke?
* One of the key factors that minimise the damage is early detection. Certain Physical changes in a person can be an indication for a potential stroke: Is one side drooping? Are the arms of one side weaker than the other? Is the speech jumbled or slurred? If any of these physical symptoms are seen in a person then an immediate consultation with a medical expert is a must.
* Strokes are treatable if detected in time.
* The initial treatment given to a person who suffers a stroke includes clot-busting drugs that break blood clots. If given earlier, it shows greater benefits. Another treatment is to remove the clot to improve survival rate and reduce disability if the stroke is caused by an artery blockage.
The World Stroke Organisation now has an ongoing campaign that serves as a year-round interface for advocacy, policy, and outreach to support strides and continue the progress made on World Stroke Day.
World Stroke Campaign, through advances in research and communications at the international level, strive to promote advocacy towards making stroke less of a global threat. The 1 in 6 campaign initiative hopes to provide as much crucial information about preventing stroke and important lifestyle changes that could greatly reduce the risk of stroke attacks.