Stroke support stories - MacDonald Oguike, Nigeria

The World Stroke Organisation is committed to develop more Stroke Support Organizations (SSOs) and stroke support activities around the world. Supportive activity can include information and advice, peer support, family counselling, rehabilitation therapy and welfare services. We want to promote this invaluable activity as much as we can. If you would like to share your stories of stroke support please contact Sarah.Belson@stroke.org.uk

Winner of the 2016 World Stroke Campaign Award for outstanding individual achievement, MacDonald Oguike of Acha Memorial Foundation in Nigeria, shares his story of becoming involved in stroke support.  

What has inspired you to be involved in stroke support?
My brother and I lost my dad to stroke in 2015. After his death, we were inspired to educate other people about stroke because we felt this was the best way to keep his memory alive.

How did the project come about?
Before he passed away, my dad’s stroke left him with a movement disability for seven years. This could have been prevented during the early stages if we had more education and awareness about stroke. After his death we heard so many stories about people having the same experience with stroke in Nigeria. In many cases, they ended up with a disability or died. We felt we could close this gap and help people at the early stages. For us, strokes need to be prevented in the first place. This was how the project “MasterStroke” began. From March to November 2015, we started creating a project plan and decided to set up a non-profit to drive the project goals.

What does stroke support look like in your country?
Many SSOs focus on awareness creation. In Nigeria there are about 11- 15 different SSOs. Each has a different agenda. At the World Stroke Congress in 2016, some of these SSOs met and discussed the possibility of coming together to form a national stroke body that would drive stroke support activities across the country. This vision is currently being explored.

What have been the highs so far for your project? 
In 2016, the MasterStroke project reached 45,530+ people with lifesaving education about stroke prevention and treatment. In Nigeria this information about stroke prevention helped many people act FAST, and find the right hospitals for proper treatment and rehabilitation support. We also partnered with local doctors and nurses to provide free blood pressure and sugar level checks to more than 3,500 Nigerians. Free counselling was provided to 85% of people diagnosed with hypertension during the campaigns.

What has been the feedback from stroke survivors to the project?
Feedback has been good overall. Many people acknowledge the work we have done around awareness and education. This said, some stroke survivors are looking for us to provide additional support such as sponsorship of rehabilitation activities or creation of a stroke survivors network to facilitate conversations about how their recovery is going. With more funding, we will expand the services we offer to stroke survivors.

What has been the response from others – community, doctors, and politicians?
Response to our work has been very positive. We partnered with local doctors and nurses to provide free blood pressure and sugar level checks to local communities. In 2016, we also partnered with many local government politicians to roll out awareness events in their local communities. Turn out to our events have been large and people within the community we visited were very happy we showed up.

To find out more about MacDonald's work please visit:

Stroke support stories - MacDonald Oguike, Nigeria Reviewed by Sarah Belson on Thursday, March 02, 2017 Rating: 5

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