World Stroke Day : Group urges Nigerians to take responsibility for their health.

World-Stroke-Day is observed worldwide on October 29. The objective is to emphasize the huge and
increasing burden of Stroke, and raise awareness of strategies for prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.
This yearly campaign aims to mobilize healthcare providers, partners and the wider community to raise
public awareness of our individual life – time risk of Stroke and equip as many people as possible with
potential life-saving prevention information and tools. Stroke is a leading cause of death, disability and
dementia worldwide, but almost all strokes can be prevented by addressing the risk factors including
hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, unhealthy diet, smoking and physical activity. This forms the basis of
the theme for this year’s world stroke campaign, ‘Join the Movement, Don’t be the One’.
The global occurrence of Stroke suggests that everyone is susceptible, and the differences in rates of
occurrence exist due to dissimilarities in our individual genetic makeup and exposure to environmental-
causes, including lifestyles, cultural practices, health-seeking behaviours, inequalities in access to
neurological care, inadequate resources and socio–economic differences.
A recent study shows that, among adults, the lifetime risk of stroke is now 1 in 4. This means that over the
course of a lifetime, 1 in 4 adults have a risk of developing a Stroke. According to findings from the SIREN
study carried out among West Africans, physical inactivity is one of the major modifiable risk factors for
Stroke among Africans, including ‘Stroke in the young’ (i.e. Stroke occurring in persons ≤45 years). The
message, therefore, is that every Nigerian must take personal responsibility for their health and be physically
active so that they can be counted among the 3 out every 4 persons who will NOT suffer a Stroke in their
lifetime, rather than be among the 1 out of 4 who will have a stroke. Indeed, JOIN THE MOVEMENT, DON’T
By getting the recommended amount of exercise each week, you will reduce your risk of having a Stroke.
Just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week can reduce your risk of Stroke by 25%. Exercise plays an
important role in reducing several Stroke risk factors including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol
levels, depression and stress. Therefore, by getting regular exercise you can take positive action to reduce
the effect of a number of Stroke risk factors. You should be as active as you possibly can in your daily life at
work and in your leisure time – small everyday activities like dancing, walking instead of taking the car, taking
the stairs instead of the elevator, gardening and house chores will help you stay healthy and reduce your
Stroke risk. In addition to keeping generally active, it is recommended that we all aim for at least 2½ hours a
week of moderate to vigorous exercise, such as very brisk walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, and other
aerobic exercises.
In any case, should you or a person around you develop signs of a stroke, remember: BE FAST: Balance loss,
Eyesight loss, Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call the emergency line or get to
the emergency room.

Full text by theNigerian Stroke Organization

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