On World Stroke Day Oct 29th, the World Stroke Organization has announced the launch of an ambitious global strategic framework that has the potential to cut global stroke incidence by half.
The framework, developed by an international network of leading stroke clinicians and researchers, builds on strong evidence of impact in the prevention of stroke and circulatory disease. It provides a roadmap for governments and health systems that points prevention focus towards low and medium risk populations with an approach that combines improved access to stroke preventive treatment, development of a stroke trained community health workforce, improved public awareness and mobile technologies that support the identification of risk factors and individual behavior change. A study trial that aims to prove the efficacy of the WSO strategy and the feasibility of implementation in other locations is scheduled to start in Brazil, through a partnership of the Ministry of Health and the Hospital Moinhos de Vento.
‘The latest data analysis shows that 1 in 4 of us will have a stroke in our lifetime, just 10 years ago that risk was 1 in 6. Stroke is a devastating disease and is a leading cause of disability and death worldwide. It is essential that we act urgently and focus our efforts on where we can have greatest impact on prevention’ said WSO President Prof Michael Brainin. ‘We need action at every level, from governments we need policies to address the drivers of stroke such as taxation of diet, alcohol and tobacco. We also need them to invest to ensure access to screening and preventive treatments. For individuals we need everyone to understand their risk and to commit to taking the steps they can to prevent a stroke.’
This year’s World Stroke Day #DontBeTheOne campaign aims to raise public awareness of stroke with a high profile social media campaign a patient information website complemented by on the ground activities by WSO members urging people to get informed about stroke risk.