No matter what our age, we all have to take measures to prevent stroke

Timothy Kalule is an occupational therapist from Uganda.

What has inspired you to be involved in stroke support?
As an occupational therapist I have noticed the high prevalence of stroke and that people in our community do not understand it. They always think they have been bewitched. So, sensitizing them and helping them realize the potential of performing tasks after surviving stroke is key. Also the research we did here in Uganda by the Karolinska Institutet of which I was a research assistant “Use of phones to treat post-stroke survivors in Uganda” by Julius Kamwesiga, Susanne Guidetti and Gunilla Ericsson enabled me get much more inspired to help post-stroke survivors live a better life with self management.

What does stroke support look like in your country?
In Uganda, the stroke support is far from adequate. The rehabilitation centers are few and they charge a lot of money to help stroke survivors. Those affected are also discharged early from hospitals and they return to their villages in which they don’t receive medical support and more critically, rehabilitation specialists are remote in these areas. They end up obtaining severe contractures and loss of function in activities of daily living.

What would you say to people to make them take stroke prevention seriously?
First of all, people have to understand that stroke is preventable and the effects can be minimised with early rehabilitation interventions. Stroke is a serious cause of adult disability and fighting it begins from the life styles people live, being active and a healthy diet. Stroke affects all ages be it a child or a mature person. So, we all have to take measures in preventing it.

What is your reason for preventing strokes?
My friend had a stroke when I was a child which I found hard to understand. Many blamed witchcraft since he lost function and he did not get much help from medical doctors.
No matter what our age, we all have to take measures to prevent stroke Reviewed by Sarah Belson on Monday, October 23, 2017 Rating: 5
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