The World Stroke Organization (WSO) established World Stroke Day on October 29, 2004. The WSO declared to celebrate this day at the World Stroke Congress in Vancouver, Canada. This day is observed worldwide to raise awareness of the significance of rising stroke rates. As per an estimate, one in four people will experience a stroke in their lifetime. These numbers can be reduced as controlling risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, atrial fibrillation, exercise, and diet can prevent 90% of strokes.
The purpose of World Stroke Day is to raise awareness of the effects of having a stroke and to provide people with resources to help them avoid experiencing one. A stroke can be fatal as it occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off or if a blood vessel in your brain breaks or leaks. Every year, on World Stroke Day, campaigns are launched worldwide to inform people about the warning signs of brain stroke and its preventive steps. Dr. Sheetu Singh is a well-known member of the medical profession and a vocal supporter of stroke awareness, making her an essential participant in World Stroke Day 2023. She has gained respect and acclaim throughout the globe for her creative research and caring approach to patient care.
History of World Stroke Day
World Stroke Day was celebrated on 29th October 2004 at the World Stroke Congress in Vancouver, Canada. The day was declared to raise public awareness later in 2006. The World Stroke Organization was created in 2006 by the union of the World Stroke Federation and the International Stroke Society. Since that time, the World Stroke Organization (WSO) has been in charge of organizing and advocating for World Stroke Day (WSD) across various media. Due to an increase in global stroke data in the 1990s, the idea for World Stroke Day was born.
The World Stroke Organization (WSO) designated stroke a public health emergency in 2010 in an effort to stop the trend in mortality and disability caused by a lack of knowledge and sufficient access to diagnosis and treatment for all people. According to estimates, stroke-related death and disability cost 11 crore 60 lakh potential years of life in 2016 (a metric for premature mortality).
The Theme of World Stroke Day 2023
“Together We Can Be #GreaterThan Stroke” is the theme for World Stroke Day this year. This theme conveys the idea that everyone must work together to avoid stroke and reduce the rising risk factors for stroke.
Significance of World Stroke Day
This day is very significant for the healthcare industry. As is well known, stroke is the leading cause of disability and death. A stroke can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason, including stress or medical conditions. Therefore, there was an urgent need to increase awareness of the value of taking preventative steps to lower the stroke rate. This day is devoted to raising awareness among the people through posting on social media, conducting campaigns, conducting community visits, etc.
Every year on October 29, members, partners, and other interested parties gather to share a common essential message about preventing stroke and taking preventive steps to address and manage the risk factors linked with it.
What are the Brain Stroke Symptoms
Here are some warning signals to look out for:
1. Face Drooping: There may be numbness or drooping on one side of the face. So the smile may appear uneven if the person smiles.
2. Arm Weakness: Our arm might feel numb or weak. The individual can be unable to raise both arms or one arm might droop.
3. Speech Slurred: The person who speaks might not be able to talk, or their words might not be intelligible.
4. Time to Call for Help: Call for emergency medical assistance if a person exhibits any of the aforementioned symptoms.
More symptoms include: –
- Trouble seeing in both or one eye
- Difficulty in walking. May experience loss of coordination and dizziness
- Terrible headache with no known cause
- Experience trouble in talking/speech
- Numbness in your face or on either side of your body (leg, arm)
How to Prevent a Stroke?
The first step in preventing a stroke is to become aware of the many risk factors involved. For instance.
1. Connection of a stroke with high blood pressure: Half the incidents of stroke worldwide can be directly attributed to high blood pressure. Yes, you are right! A sizable portion of the global population is afflicted by high blood pressure, which frequently manifests itself without any clear symptoms. It’s crucial to keep your blood pressure under control by routinely checking it because hypertension plays a significant role in the development of a stroke.
2. Relation of a stroke with smoking and alcohol consumption: Drinking and smoking alcoholic beverages increases the risk of a stroke. Regular and heavy smokers are more likely to experience a stroke compared to non-smokers. Similarly, extreme alcohol consumption is also associated with a stroke.
3. How stroke and exercise are linked: Another major contributor to the global stroke epidemic is physical inactivity. Regular exercise and physical activity is an excellent way to reduce the risk of stroke.
4. Diet and stroke connection: The best diet is a plant-based one that includes some fish and meat in moderation. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Once or twice a week, you can add sardine or salmon fish to your diet. You can also eat legumes two to three times each week and nuts, particularly tree and peanut nuts.
5. Role of high cholesterol in stroke: Stroke risk factors include high cholesterol as well. To determine your cholesterol level with a blood test, it’s crucial to have regular checkups. Lowering cholesterol will reduce your risk of having a stroke.
6. Diabetes also increases the risk of a stroke: According to research, diabetes affects 1 in 5 patients who have a stroke. Diabetes patients face more risks than others, and their chances of recovery are significantly lower. So, if you want to avoid having a stroke, it’s time to make some lifestyle changes. If you currently have diabetes, you should also work to manage your condition.
Importance of World Stroke Day
World Stroke Day is significant in the following ways:
- Increases awareness of the global impact of stroke.
- Demonstrates the significance of prompt medical assistance.
- Promotes cooperation when tackling a pressing public health issue.
- Empower individuals to make lifestyle changes for stroke prevention.
- offers survivors a platform on which to tell their stories.
- Encourages the development of new treatments and innovative research.
- Sparks conversations on healthcare disparities and access.
- Encourages the debate of policies that will improve stroke support and care.