World Stroke Day, 29 October 2016
Stroke is a medical emergency when an artery to the brain gets blocked or bursts. Stroke shares a set of risk factors and a pathological pathway similar to the one that cause a heart attack. Hence, stroke is often called as “brain attack”. In low-and middle-income countries, which include those of the WHO South-East Asia Region, over 11 million strokes occur every year. This causes deaths of more than 4 million people annually, and leaves approximately 30% of survivors seriously disabled. For the 70% of survivors who recover, the likelihood of suffering further strokes is greatly increased: ‘Recurrent’ stroke accounts for around one in every four episodes of the life-threatening condition.
Prevention of stroke has become a public health priority. Addressing risk factors for stroke and strengthening health to provide credible stroke services can greatly reduce the burden of stroke. This year, we are joining the global initiatives in observing the World Stroke Day on 29 October 2016 in advocating for prevention and treatment of stroke.