Experts demand National Stroke Prevention Program

Karachi: Health experts have urged the government to establish National Stroke prevention program and coordinate public awareness campaign, prevention guidelines and research related to stroke in Pakistan.

President Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) Dr Misbahul Aziz, Neuro Physician Prof Muhammad Tariq and Neuro Physician Dr Abdul Malik said in a statement that Stroke is one of the unfortunate diseases in Pakistan. Despite being third cause of death and leading cause of disability throughout the world including Pakistan it has received little attention from health care authorities.

They said that it is projected that there are more than 400,000 new stroke patients every year. Due to poor post stroke care up to 40+ACU- die within six months and rest 60+ACU- are added to a pool of disabled people.

Describing the causes of stroke they said that it is because of the prevalence of High Blood pressure in our country. According to National Health survey every third Pakistani above age 45 is hypertensive.

Majority of these patients are unaware of their high blood pressure and they only find out once they have a stroke or heart attack, which is too late. We have 5 million Diabetics and around 20 million tobacco users (smokers, shisha, chewing tobacco), major risk factors for stroke.

They said that stroke is a treatable problem and large numbers of patients are able to go back to work after a stroke. This is being done by acute stroke management, dedicated in patient care and intense rehabilitation program.

Research has shown that more than half of this stroke could be prevented by effective Blood pressure control and risk factor management. This has been done elsewhere and very much possible in our country by mass awareness campaign.

They said we strongly feel that stroke need immediate attention from Healthcare authorities. A National Stroke prevention program should be established. We have a TB, AIDS, Malaria control programs, Mental Health Program and why we cannot have a Stroke prevention program that would really affect the mortality and disability related to stroke, which is a huge economic and social burden in our society.

The national stroke prevention program should initiate and coordinate public awareness campaign, prevention guidelines and research related to stroke in Pakistan.

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