Thursday, December 21, 2017

Danae Penn shares her story of stroke

My husband Roger and I lived in Belgium, but in May 1995 he was in England for a submariners meeting where he suffered a stroke and was taken to Milton Keynes NHS Trust Hospital after a dangerous delay because the ambulance drivers insisted on him telling them his name – and he was too aphasic to be able to do that. His submariner friends told me the bad news and I used our holiday insurance policy to get to the hospital and to bring him back to Belgium.

Back in Belgium hospital care could begin at last. A physiotherapist examined his paralysed leg and told me that he would walk again. The neurologist was less optimistic about other success until Roger copied a square, a circle and a triangle (with his left hand). Apparently, that meant that his mind was OK. Both specialists were 100% correct.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Nurturing Stroke Expertise in Emerging Leaders

This year the World Stroke Organization is pleased to partner with the World Heart Federation to contribute state of the art stroke knowledge to the Federation-led ‘Emerging Leaders’ program. The program aims to form and develop a cadre of experts who collaborate, research, and act to reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular disease globally by at least 25% by 2025. The program is one of several partnership initiatives between the two organisations focused on the intersection between CVD and stroke.

The 2017-2018 cohort marks the fifth year of the program and will focus on stroke. Previous cohorts have focused on access to essential medicines, secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, raised blood pressure, and tobacco prevention and control. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Refining the Ischaemic Penumbra with Topography PODCAST

Refining the Ischaemic Penumbra with Topography

It has been forty years since the ischaemic penumbra was first conceptualised through work on animal models. The topography of penumbra has been portrayed as an infarcted core surrounded by penumbral tissue and an extreme rim of oligaemic tissue. In the paperRefining the Ischaemic Penumbra with Topography first Author Thanh Phan et al reviewed the understanding of the topography of the ischaemic penumbra from the initial experimental animal models to current developments with neuroimaging which have helped to further define the temporal and spatial evolution of the penumbra and refine our knowledge. 
Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins, Managing Editor of the International Journal of Stroke spoke to Dr Thanh Phan, Monash University, Department of Medicine, Victoria, Australia.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Onyinye Iromba, a stroke survivor and stroke ambassador with Stroke Action Nigeria shares her story.

Where were you when you had your stroke?
I was at home sleeping and it was at about 3 am. I never knew it was stroke and I was staying alone in the house when the stroke happened.

Could you access hospital?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Supporting the global fight against stroke - Ajeng's fundraising inspiration

When Ajeng Riandini’s father experienced a stroke while travelling from Indonesia to Germany, what was supposed to be a once in a lifetime family holiday turned into a worrying and financially stressful event. A massive stroke on the plane was complicated by atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolism and gastric bleeding in hospital. Huge anxieties about her father’s health were compounded by worries about the costs of his treatment in Germany and of longer-term rehabilitation back home in Indonesia. Unsure of the whether insurance would cover costs and knowing that her father had used his retirement savings to fund her studies abroad, Ajeng took to social media, to raise funds and ensure that bills could be paid. As it turned out, her father’s insurance did meet many of the costs of treatment, so Ajeng committed to donate surplus funds to the World Stroke Organization and Stroke Support Germany. Here she tells her story and why her family chose to support WSO.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Going right to the top to tackle stroke

Pablo Vercelli's family knows too well the impact of stroke. To help raise awareness and funds to fight stroke globally, he, alongside his brother and two friends, is set to take on a major mountaineering challenge. They aim to raise $20,000 to improve stroke prevention, treatment and support in Argentina and around the world. Here he tells us what has motivated him to climb the highest mountain outside the Himalayas.

‘My mother passed away in 2009 due to a stroke. My sister also had a stroke three years ago, and was very lucky to survive. She received treatment and was looked after by professionals in a clinic in Buenos Aires, and is still recovering. The effect that stroke has had on our family has encouraged me to do whatever I can to shine a light on stroke and the opportunities there are to prevent stroke and improve life for survivors.’

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Recognising and sharing best practice in stroke awareness

World Stroke Day Campaign Awards 2017 - Call for Applications 

We know that our members, partners and supporters pulled out all the stops for World Stroke Day 2017. So many people got behind the campaign and spoke with one voice about the need for everyone to take stroke prevention seriously.

Our map of World Stroke Day activity was densely packed with pins, showing a world united in tackling stroke. Social media channels buzzed with messages about stroke prevention. While some people were moved to sing and dance, (yes, we're looking at you Brazil!) others ran marathons through city streets, many shared moving personal stories of loss and the challenges of stroke recovery.

We are in awe of the energy and creativity of all our World Stroke Day supporters and, as part of our commitment to recognize and share best practice, we are pleased to invite WSO Members, partners and supporters to apply for a 2017 World Stroke Day Campaign Award.  You can apply on behalf of your own organization, or nominate a society or individual that you think did an exceptional job in raising awareness of stroke risk.

There are three categories for award submissions:

  • Individual Achievement Award
  • Best campaign in a Low- to Middle-Income Country
  • Best campaign in a High Income Country

The deadline for awards is 30th November 2017. Winners will be announced in February 2018 and will receive a year's free membership of the World Stroke Organisation, opening the door to a range of benefits including member rates on World Stroke Congress Registration, free access to the International Journal of Stroke and the World Stroke Organisation newsletter. We will also profile your achievement in our blog and popular social media channels.

For more information and to access the online application form, visit the World Stroke Campaign Awards page .

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Oral statement of the World Stroke Organisation (WSO) and the European Stroke Organisation (ESO)

Report: Regional Committee for WHO-Europe: Annual meeting, 11-14 Sept 2017, Budapest

While the world is preparing for the 2018 high level United Nations meeting on non - communicable diseases (NCDs), the proportion of NCDs continues to increase in Europe. Stroke is a tragic example of this insufficient progress: over the last 25 years, stroke has become the 2nd cause of disability and the 2 rd cause of death worldwide . Given this large scale problem across all countries and continents, stroke is about to affect everyone directly or indirectly. This is an avoidable tragedy for patients, families and societies, because stroke is largely preventable and treatable. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Report of EAN /WSO / AAN/IBRO/WFN / EHF/LINF 9th Regional Teaching Course (RTC) on Neurology in Sub - Saharan Africa . Ougadougou, Burkina Faso 8 - 11th November 2017

The 9th Regional Teaching Course (RTC) took place in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso on November 8 – 11, 2017. The meeting was hosted by Prof. Jean Kabore, Head of the Neurological Department of the Yalgado Ouedrago Hospital of Ouagadougou together with Prof. Athanase M ilogo, Head of the Neurology Department of the Sanou Sourou hospital in Bo Bo Dialasso and Prof. Christian Napon, head of the Neurology Department of the District Hospital of Bogodogo, Ouagadougou. The RTC took place at the National Hospital “Blaise Compa ore”.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Melbourne launches its Mobile Stroke Unit

The Mobile Stroke Unit for Melbourne was launched today. It's been an exciting process and the team are on board, trained and ready to go! Here's some words by one of the funding bodies and a great support of the project, Sharon McGowan from the National Stroke Foundation in Australia!

Dr Silke Walter, Peter Norbury, and Brian O'Connell from LifeHealthCare 

Dr Monique Kilkenny from AusCAR with her son Tobias and Silke Walter
Dr Silke Walter, who's been supporting the project from the original Hamburg MSU team,
Professors Stephen Davis and Geoffrey Donnan who launched the project and pushed it through
from inception to launch!

The MSU Team! 
Any stroke patient is lucky to get this team of experts from the hospital to the scene of the CVD incident
 cutting into dangerous wasted minutes and  changing the face of stroke treatment 
Dr Silker Walter, Skye Coote who is MSU stroke Nurse Practitioner
and Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins for the World Stroke Organization 

Report of conference on Comprehensive Nursing Management of Stroke on World Stroke Day

A State Level Conference on Comprehensive Nursing Management of Stroke was organized on  October 2017 at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. This event was hosted as a part of World Stroke Day.The conference was jointly organized by Comprehensive Stroke Care Program- SCTIMST, Nursing Division- SCTIMST and the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Division, Kerala State Health Services.

Nurses are a vital part of a stroke care team. Nurses have essential roles like rapid assessment, monitoring, coordination and education of patients with stroke. The general aim of this one-day conference was to sensitize nurses regarding the evidence based comprehensive stroke management.

The specific objectives of the conference were; to review the basic concepts in the nursing management of patients with stroke, to brief the evidence-based guidelines in reducing the door to needle time, to discuss the intensive nursing care interventions and,to refine critical thinking, reasoning and clinical judgment of clinical nurses. The conference was facilitated byuse of powerpoint presentations, video demonstrations, case studies and problem-solving case scenarios. The conference covered various aspects of stroke care like; diagnosis and imaging of stroke, establishing a comprehensive stroke care unit, intravenous thrombolytic therapy, mechanical thrombectomy, cardioembolic strokes, intensive care, carotid revascularization, dysphagia management, rehabilitation, discharge planning and secondary prevention. The sessions were taken by stroke physicians, stroke care nurses, physiotherapists and speech therapists.

The conference came to an end with an interactive panel session where, contemporary issues in stroke care practice were discussed. Around 350 nurses from rural and urban as well as from public and private sector hospitals  attended the meeting. The nurses included those working in primary care settings, rural clinics, neurological units and stroke centers.

Dr. M. D. Nair, Professor and Head, Department of Neurology, SCTIMST inaugurated the conference and Dr. Bipin K Gopal, Asst. Director, Kerala State Health Services felicitated the event.Dr. PN Sylaja, Professor of Neurology and In charge of Comprehensive stroke care program, SCTIMST was the chief patron of the conference. Ms. Valsala Kumari, Nursing officer and Dr. Saramma P P, Lecturer in nursing were the organizing chairpersons. The meeting received financial support from the Health and family welfare department of Government of Kerala.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Jean Roger Munezero is motivated to engage in NCD advocacy following his stroke

Jean Roger Munezero is 30 years old and from Rwanda. Jean had a stroke in 2015  whilst studying in South Africa, here he shares his story.

Where were you when you had your stroke?
I was in South Africa, I was at the University of South Africa and I was an undergraduate student in International  Relations and Diplomacy.

Could you access a hospital?
Yes of course. I was near the Steve Biko Hospital, about 1 km.I was staying in Pretoria.

What expectations did you have for your treatment, rehabilitation and recovery?
First I didn't know that I had a stroke.At the time I entered the hospital I was in a coma and the doctors told my next of kin that I will spend the whole month in a coma. Luckily I woke up the next day around 1 pm. Being in a country where they can diagnose your illness  is a very big deal in Africa. I was like "you are fine son, they will do their best don't worry." I was satisfied with the treatment they gave me. For my therapy and recovery; since I was there alone, they suggested that I should go back home in order to be with family and caregivers, so they can help me in those steps. As I am talking to you now, I am positive and the recovery is going great.

What has help you in your recovery?
Since I was a child,a positive mind was my first take, I was helped with my attitude within life, " Stay positive and everything will go smoothly."
What have been/are your fears?
I was afraid that I wouldn't manage my studies and outside having  children, will I ever be the man that my partner expects me to be?

How did your family and friends feel and respond?
My family was shocked.I am lucky because my parents went to school, they knew about stroke but still they could ask why God is doing such things to me. They were very supportive and still now they are, as for my friends they could not understand  the reason why am I sick. They are supportive and they are encouraging.

What is the level of stroke support in your Country?
The level of stroke support is still low because of  a shortage of qualified personnel to provide acurate care.

What has motivated you to be involved in stroke support?
First of all I am a human being.I found myself in this situation, then I said with the level of poverty we have in this country, I have to do something like advocate for people who have a noncommunicable disease in my country.

Hellenic Alliance for Stroke, Stroke Awareness Day November 4th, 2017

A Hellenic Alliance for Stroke, Stroke Support Organisation (HAS SSO) Event was held in honor of Stroke Awareness Day, with a visit from Jon Barrick and Sandra Jackson on November 4th in Thessaloniki Greece. In the morning sessions at Mediterranean Palace hotel, the Hellenic Neurology Association held its annual conference.

Welcome to new SSO member Stroke Organisation Zimbabwe

The Stroke Organisation Zimbabwe has become an SSO member of the World Stroke Organization. With 50 members, the organisation's aims are to:

  • Promote prevention and care of people with stroke
  • Education in collaboration with other international, public and private organisations
  • Foster the best standards of practice and facilitate clinical research for the benefit of people at risk of stroke
Belinda Pfende, President of the Stroke Organisation Zimbabwe, is a physiotherapist. In her practice she saw the great gap in knowledge in society about stroke, its causes and how it can be prevented. Belinda therefore started the stroke support organisation, the first one in Zimbabwe. When Belinda first reached out to WSO she said 'your organisation is exactly what I have been looking for to enhance my professional development and also raise awareness about stroke.'

We welcome Stroke Organisation Zimbabwe as one of our newest SSO members and really look forward to working together to combat stroke in Zimbabwe. The new WSO member has a soccer tournament planned on 11th November for World Stroke Day.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Identifying gaps, challenges and opportunities in stroke care and prevention

The World Stroke Organization, in partnership with WHO has launched a survey of stroke clinicians public health specialists and and Ministries of Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

The online survey aims to determine levels of current capacity for delivering key elements of stroke care and prevention to the population served in different countries.

The research, which is anticipated will be published in The Lancet in the second half of 2018, is intended to provide practical recommendations for stroke service improvements. Based on the information provided, we will be able to determine the level of stroke services - categorised as minimal, essential or advanced at national and regional level and potentially help identify areas for development and to support strategies for improvement. These categories and the standards for each are based on the World Stroke Organization's Global Guidelines for Quality Stroke Care.

Invitations to participate in the survey have been circulated by the World Stroke Organisation. For information about who has been contacted to complete surveys in your country/region, to request an invitation or for support in completing a survey please contact the Project Manager, Rohit Bhattacharjee.

WSO is grateful for the time and attention dedicated to completing the survey and survey participants will have an opportunity to provide input to the publication, which will be submitted to the Lancet Neurology in the second half of 2018.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thank You for World Stroke Day 2017

THANK YOU for an incredible World Stroke Day 2017!

World Stroke Day 2017

While the dust is still settling from World Stroke Day 2017 we would like to say a HUGE thank you to all of our member organisations, supporters and partners who helped us to show why we should all take stroke prevention seriously!

Numbers from the day show that we have achieved some campaign records this year:
  • 208 events registered in 62 countries
  • Toolkit resources translated into 14 languages
  • Over 10,000 document downloads (brochure, poster, infographic, web banner, news release)
  • 20,000 additional downloads of the Stroke Riskometer
  • 110,000 Facebook reach on World Stroke Day
  • 20,000 views of campaign video on Facebook and YouTube channels
  • 7,500 views of ‘My reason’ stroke survivor stories on WSO blog platform
  • 180 sign ups and 742K reach on Thunderclap
  • Twitter and Facebook following up 25% and 20% respectively since November 2016
Of course, the numbers only tell part of the story. For us, the best indicators of World Stroke Day success were the individual stories and conversations on the streets, in community halls, in the media and on social media around the globe. We are sincerely grateful to everyone who took the time to organise and participate in events and in particular to those who shared their very personal stories and the profound reasons that we all have to prevent stroke. 

We are also grateful for the support and engagement of our colleagues across the Non-Communicable Disease community who shared our messages to new audiences and helped us to position stroke prevention squarely on the health and development agenda. 

If you have updates, photos and success stories from your World Stroke Day activities please share them with us e-mail

Sunday, October 29, 2017

World Stroke Day 2017 - A Message from our President

Today I am in Moscow where, in partnership with the Russian Ministry for Health, we we have held the first ever World Stroke Day Congress.  This event is just one of hundreds of activities taking place in honour of World Stroke Day. From Singapore to Sao Paolo, events and activities are taking place on the streets and in government buildings to raise awareness of stroke and prevention. This is urgent and necessary work. Every 2 seconds someone in the world has a stroke. We have no time to spare.

In low and middle-income countries stroke has reached epidemic proportions, with evidence showing that younger people are increasingly at risk. This is particularly devastating in these countries where resources for healthcare and social support is scarce.

In high-income countries, where the incidence of strokes has gone down, access to treatments and an ageing population means that - while more people survive – many are living with significant disabilities and long-term support needs. Last year stroke accounted for 116 million years of life lived with disability.

Regardless of age, or where a person lives the impact of stroke on individuals and families is enormous. The pressure on healthcare services and economies is unsustainable. 

We all have good reasons to prevent stroke and the good news is that stroke prevention is possible if we take individual and collective steps. 90% of strokes are linked to just 10 risk factors that we can all do something about. Use today to get informed about risks and prevention and join with us to make sure that stroke gets the attention and resources it deserves. Help us deliver a world free from stroke.

Thank you for being part of World Stroke Day!

Prof Werner Hacke, President, World Stroke Organization

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Get informed about stroke prevention, as stroke can happen to anyone at any age!

At age 51, Mike Williams began experiencing a headache and dizziness while at his home. 
He passed out and woke to remember being put into an ambulance.  At the time, he had no idea he was having a stroke.  

His wife, who was home with him, called for medical attention.  Neither one of them knew just how much their lives would change following that day.  In the days leading up to his stroke, Mike worked 12 hour shifts and spent most of his free time tinkering with his truck, riding his four-wheeler, and doing yard work.  He loved the outdoors, but now has to spend most of his time inside.  He had significant difficulty with his speech following the stroke, and still often experiences dizziness.  Mike's daily activities were hindered by the deficits found in his feet and hands, and continue to hinder him by his fear of falling due to his inability to walk straight.  

The most significant loss according to Mike is his balance.  He rarely went anywhere alone, and quickly became dependent on his wife who quit her job to become his caregiver.  Initially, Mike was reluctant to see his friends and co-workers.  He didn't want to talk to others, as he felt "they could not understand him."  He recalls his best friend continued to be there for he and his wife, despite his reluctance to be seen.  This friend also offered respite for his wife, which provided her opportunities of relief from the daily tasks and stressors of being a caregiver.  Mike's stroke also greatly affected his daughters, his mother and his sister.  

Despite the impacts, Mike says their relationships have survived this obstacle and have grown even stronger from it.  Mike is able to positively reflect on how this experience has strengthened his relationship with his wife too; he shares that it has opened doors of communication for them.  Prior to his stroke, Mike had not known of any other individuals around him having strokes.  He had high blood pressure, but was unaware of how this could increase his risk for stroke.  

During his recovery, Mike was determined to learn more about stroke and prevention.  He was provided information from the rehabilitation center where he received treatment.  He reports paying more attention to signs from his body now, such as not ignoring headaches.  To continue his prevention methods, Mike is seen regularly by doctors and encourages others to do the same.  He also encourages others to inform themselves about stroke, warning signs, and prevention methods specific to them, as stroke can happen to anyone at any age!

Picture credit: Paul Olsen 
Story source:

Featured Post

Epidemiologic profiling for stroke in Nepal: Endeavour towards establishing database

Resha Shrestha  @avi_neuro. , MS 1 , Avinash Chandra, MD 1 , Samir Acharya, MS 1 , Pranaya Shrestha, MS 1 , Pravesh Rajbhandari, MS 1 , Re...