‘Stroke common cause of disability, preventable deaths’

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The Stroke is the commonest cause of disability and the second largest cause of preventable deaths globally, President, Nigerian Stroke Organisation (NSO) Prof. Yomi Ogun has said.

Ogun made the assertion at a campaign in Lagos to raise awareness on the prevention of stroke in commemoration of the 2017 World Stroke Day.

The theme for the 2017 World Stroke Day is: “What is Your Reason for Preventing Strokes?”

“World Stroke Day marks every Oct. 29 provides an annual opportunity for stroke stakeholders to coordinate awareness and advocacy campaigns and build commitment to reducing the burden of stroke at global, regional and local level.

“By creating a global platform from which we can speak out, World Stroke Day amplifies our individual voices and brings more people into the conversation about stroke prevention, treatment and support,’’ an Online publication-worldstrokecampaign said.

Ogun said: “NSO today joined the global calls for urgent action to prevent stroke and respond to new data, which indicates stroke as being responsible for years of life lived with disability worldwide in 2016.

“Stroke happens when the blood supply to parts of the brain is cut off, without the blood, brain cell can be damaged or die, affecting a person’s body, mobility, speech and how they think or feel.

“There are estimated 17 million stroke cases worldwide each year and at least, 200, 000 of which occur in Nigeria.

“In Nigeria today, stroke is the most medical emergency in all teaching hospitals, while other hospitals account for up to eight to 10 neurological hospital admission.”

According to Ogun, the theme for 2017 focuses attention on creating awareness on the risk factors and preventive measures by all stroke stakeholders.

“Stroke can affect anyone, can occur anywhere and at any time; it calls for urgent mass health education on strategies to prevent first and recurrent strokes.

“We know that 90 per cent of strokes are associated with risk factors that we can all do something about.

“They include the control of high blood pressure, doing moderate exercise, stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake and also maintaining healthy diet, amongst others.

“Addressing the risk factors will not just have major impact on stroke prevention, but will also prevent deaths from other non-communicable diseases,” Ogun said.

The president of the organisation said that giving urgent priority to prevention would yield obvious benefits in terms of reduced human, social and economic cost.

Also, Prof. Mustapha Danesi, the Board of Trustee of the organisation, said it was important for the public to note that stroke was potentially preventable and treated when presented early.

Danesi said: “The important thing is if a stroke case is presented within one hour of noticing, the better the chance of recovery.

“We are here to draw the attention of the public to the devastating effect of stroke to the populace, as a public health, as well as a disease.

“It is important because, we have to stop the myth and believe that once a person develops stroke, one will no longer be useful.”

Vice-President of NSO Prof. Njideka Okubadejo, said that the key steps to prevent stroke include checking the blood pressure and blood sugar to know personal risk factors.

“Eating a healthy balanced diet, avoid excessive salt intake, engage in moderate exercise five times a week and learn to recognise warning signs of stroke.

“Also, a diet that is high in fruits, nuts, vegetables, fibre, but low in red meat, is desirable for the prevention of stroke.

“A low salt diet will prevent stroke, either the first occurrence or recurrence of a repeat stroke in someone who has survived a stroke,” Okubadejo said.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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