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‘Stroke second major cause of disability, death’

By Our Correspondent
October 31, 2018

LAHORE: Stroke is rated the 2nd major cause of disability and death worldwide. Pakistan is more than 20 years behind the developed world when it comes to acute stroke care.

At the government level, top priority needs to be given to check it. Pakistan Stroke Society President Dr Qasim Bashir stated this while addressing a seminar organised here Tuesday by Pakistan Stroke Society and Pakistan Society of Neurology with the collaboration of a private university titled “Recognise stroke FAST-Acute Stroke is Treatable”, at a local hotel.

Prof M Nasrullah was the guest of honour while Prof Khalid Masud Gondal, Vice-Chancellor King Edward Medical University (KEMU), was chief guest at the seminar. Dr Qasim Bashir said, “Stroke is now rated the 2nd major cause of both disability and death worldwide.

In Pakistan, it is estimated to affect 350-400 people per 100,000 yearly. Being developing country poor stroke survivors add enormous financial and psychological burden to families. Stroke affects women differently than men. They are at higher risk during pregnancy, after menopause and when they are elderly. More women die of stroke, have worse outcomes after stroke and face more challenges as they recover than men. It disrupts their lives as daughter, wife, and mother at work. It strains their relationships and threatens independence.”

“Pakistan is more than 20 years behind the developed world when it comes to acute stroke care. At the government level, top priority needs to be given to help reduce it and improve stroke survivors. Neurology as a specialty with post-graduate fellowship training in stroke should be promoted. Every district should have stroke centres with Neurologists to better care stroke patients. The intravenous thrombolytic drug should be provided free-of-cost to patients within 3-4.5 hours if they qualify. Neuro-interventionalists with Neurology, Neurosurgery and neuro-radiology backgrounds and who have completed dedicated fellowship training in Neuro-endovascular Stroke therapies per international standards should be provided thrombectomy procedures to improve stroke care in Pakistan.