Moyosore Ayah, founder of new WSO stroke support organisation member, IDA Stroke Awareness Foundation in Nigeria, tells us about her commitment to stroke prevention and awareness
What has inspired you to be involved in stroke support?
Around spring 2010, my precious mother had a stroke, which not only came with its physical impediments but also emotional and mental. The physical impediments meant that she was paralyzed on the left side of her body along with speech impairments that affected her communication.
I always thought to myself in hindsight that if my sister and I were enlightened on the signs and symptoms of stroke, we could have taken preventive measures to avoid a stroke and coma after she complained of fatigue. This experience taught me a lot of basic and essential facts about stroke, which acted as a catalyst to inspire and motivate me to create and spread awareness and consciousness about stroke. Plus connecting with others to help ease the depression and isolation so common after a stroke.
What does stroke support look like in your country?
Stroke remains a huge problem in Nigeria and globally. There is not adequate support for stroke patients in Nigeria, for example in the biggest National Hospital only 3 hours a week is dedicated for stroke clinics to attend to the needs of stroke patients.
How did the project come about?
This project was born out of my emotions from the experience with my mum, which led to me having this insatiable passion to educate people on the risks, signs and symptoms of a stroke.
What have been some of the outcomes of the projects?
I consider all IDA Stroke Awareness Foundation projects as successful; creating awareness about stroke, giving medical recovery accessories to those who need them during our outreach and organizing a stroke clinic in a rural community with minimal health care.
What has been the feedback from stroke survivors to the project?
The response and feedback from all our outreach has constantly reminded us of the reason why we embarked on this mission. The joy and satisfaction derived from this act of altruism cannot be quantified. The testimonies from stroke survivors and individuals who benefited from our outreach has been the fuel that drives us to continue this mission.
What has been the response from others – community, doctors, and politicians?
Doctors and medical professionals are willing and ready to help in any way they can and we always get volunteers. Volunteers have the passion and willingness to serve and we are elated to provide this platform with an opportunity to serve humanity.
What would you say to other people to make them take stroke prevention seriously?
Stroke is a brain attack that can lead to disabilities and ultimately death. Please pay close attention to your health, always monitor your blood pressure if you have a history, heart disease, diabetics, go for medical check ups and always take your medications as directed. All the signs of stroke shouldn’t be taken lightly: face numbness, arm weakness and speech difficulty. If you consider someone may be having a stroke, call an emergency service if available or have someone call for you and get to the hospital immediately. Please do not wait for the next second. DON’T BE THE ONE.