Stroke is 6th killer disease in Malawi: Specialist

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As the world commemorates Stroke Day,  October 29, a stroke specialist with Malawi Liverpool Welcome Trust, Dr. Yohane Gadama, says there is the need to bring more awareness on the non-communicable disease, more especially to the urban community.


World Stroke Day is observed  to underscore 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.

This year's World Stroke Day ‘Don’t Be The One’ campaign aims to raise public awareness of stroke with a high profile social media campaign.

And in an interview with MBC, Gadama said Stroke is the sixth killer disease in the country after HIV and Aids, TB, Malaria and Cancer.

According to Gadama, an average of four people are admitted at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Quech) alone on a daily basis.

“And world over, one in every people have Stroke. This should be telling us that this disease calls for our focus aswell, just like many others,” said Dr. Gadama.

Stroke Unit at Queens

Malawi is not taking the disease lightly, as a specialized state-of-the-art facility is being constructed at Quech, and according to Gadama, the unit is expected to be operational by January 2020.

“It will have sophisticated equipment, specialized people such as physiotherapists and language therapists. It will be able to accommodate eight patients at once,” said Gadama.


Global Strategies


Meanwhile, the World Stroke Organization (WSO) 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.

“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,” WSO President Prof Michael Brainin, said in statement released by WSO.

WSO is the world's leading organization in the fight against stroke. WSO has more than 4000 individual members and over 90 society members from 85 different countries. Its mission is to reduce the global burden of stroke through prevention, treatment and long term care.

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