SSO embarks on an awareness campaign on rising cases of stroke

Stroke Support Organization (SSO) on Friday said many people are suffering from stroke because they lack proper information on the disease.


SSO Executive Secretary, Dr. George Chimatiro on Wednesday told MANA that many people don’t have knowledge on how to prevent the disease.


He said information about stroke has been so scarce in Malawi; hence the organization’s plans to educate the public on different issues regarding risk factors of strokes.


“Failure to have good information about stroke is making people first to suffer stroke which is quite big in Malawi now. For example, a research which was conducted at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) indicates that at least 10 people get admitted for first ever stroke and 61% indicates that patients at Kachere Rehabilitation Centre suffered from stroke for the last 10 years,” he said.


“It is for this reason that this May, SSO in partnership with the non-communicable diseases (NCD) Alliance is working towards raising awareness on stroke risk factors, signs and symptoms to fight against stroke in the country this month,” added Chimatiro.

Chimatiro: Stroke is quite big in Malawi now


Chimatiro said people do not know risk factors that cause stroke as well as signs of stroke, as a result they go to the hospital late; thereby, affecting their chances of recovery.


“Research indicates that those who go to the hospital early like four hours after being attacked from stroke are able to recover at a better extent as compared to those who go late.


“Smoking, excess alcohol consumption which is common in men and issues of obesity are some of the risk factors that lead to high blood pressure (BP) and diabetes causing stroke. Smoking affects the blood vessels that make it to lose its elasticity and lead the vessels to burst whereas excess drinking increases the chances to sustain BP,” said Chimatiro


He disclosed that activities lined up during the awareness include, health screening such as BP checks, cholesterol testing, diabetes screening; health promotion activities among others whereby individuals will be targeted in participating corporate organizations, churches and mosques for public events.


According to the World Health Organization, annually, 15 million people worldwide suffer from stroke. Of these, five million die and another five million are left permanently disabled, placing a burden on family and community.