Saturday, 30 October 2021

Global Stroke Day: One in Four Adults above age 25 will Experience a Stroke - experts

Ukpa Ewa | 31st October, 2021 

AWKA: As the world commemorates the Global Stroke Day, experts have revealed that Stroke has attained a Epidemic Status as one out of four adults of age 25 are likely to experience a stroke in their life time. 

This was made known recently in Awka, Anambra State by the Executive Secretary Anambra Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) Dr. Simeon Onyemeachi in an event to commemorate global stroke awareness day. 

Dr. Simeon Onyemachi noted that world stroke day was set aside every year on October 29 to draw attention to issues around stroke disease.

" It is a concept that came up in the year  2004 and effectively in 2006 the first elaborate celebration globally was done and ever since then it has continued ".

Speaking on the global them for this year " Minutes Can Save Lives"  he substantiated that the theme was apt for stroke management and to bring to fore issues that people could look at and take drastic measures timely to prevent stroke and its debilitating effects.

The Executive Secretary explained that stroke occurs through different mechanisms either ischemic where the blood supply to a particular part of the brain is blocked maybe by a clot inside the arteries that supply blood in the brain and hemorrhagic stroke where there was a rupture of blood vessels. 

According to him, a stroke happens when the blood supply to the part of the brain is cut off. Without blood, brain cells can be damaged or die. Its impact could be short and long - term depending on the part of the brain affected.

The disruption of brain cell functions resulting in deformity, loss of speech, loss of function in the limbs among others depending on the part of the body being supplied by the brain tissue whose function was lost.

Furthermore, the expert maintained that there was a need for the establishment of a stroke center where people are rehabilitated.

" When a stroke occurs, there is need for aggressive reorientation of our people through health education as many attribute it to "spiritual attack" rather than seek medical assistance immediately as the more time goes the more the nerve cells get damaged.

However, Dr. Onyemeachi called for investment in imaging technology including computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for early detection of a stroke while stressing that people engage in exercise regularly and maintain healthy lifestyle like eating healthy food, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake drastically, checking their blood pressure and blood sugar level regularly.

He concluded by saying that to prevent the deformity and loss of functions associated with stroke, people should present very early to healthcare facilities just like the theme of the year advocates. He said doing this will avail stroke patients the opportunity for limitation of deformity through early administrative of medications which could reverse stroke especially if it ischaemic stroke which occur in 85 percent of stroke events.

Statistics also reveal that about 13 million cases of stroke are reported annually worldwide, with over 70 percent of these stroke events occurring among b Africans. 87 percent of 5.5 million annual stroke deaths occur in Africa.

This was more common in Africa due to factors that predispose people to hypertension which remains the most important modifiable risk factor common among people with stroke, which is prevalent in the black race. African society is more prone to suffering the danger of stroke.