Extracts below from the World Stroke Organization
'When somebody has a stroke, every second that goes by is crucial. As brain tissue and millions of neurons begin to fade away, time could not be more precious. Our #Precioustime campaign aims to raise awareness of stroke signs and the benefits of timely access to emergency medical care. This year 14.5 million people will have a stroke, 5.5 million people will die as a result.'
'Up to 90% of strokes could be prevented by addressing a small number of risk factors, including hypertension, diet, smoking and exercise. Preventive action on stroke would also contribute to a massive scale reduction in stroke and would conribute to global goals to reduce cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other significant causes of death and suffering worldwide.'
Knowing the signs of stroke and getting treatment quickly saves lives and improves recovery. If you think someone may have had a stroke, do this FAST check:
Face: Is one side drooping?
Arms: Raise both arms. Is one side weak?
Speech: Is the person able to speak? Are words jumbled or slurred?
Time: Act quickly and call emergency services.
COMMENT (NPW): I would like to invite comment on the level of awareness of stroke symptoms in Zambia. Are you aware of any studies on this, or any anecdotal reports of stroke being missed?
This study from Malawi found concluded 'Knowledge about stroke is very low in this community, particularly among the least educated and poor. Programs to support prevention, early recognition, and timely hospital presentation after a stroke are needed'. (Community-Level Knowledge and Perceptions of Stroke in Rural Malawi: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025105 )
Best wishes, Neil