Health

Experts Deliberate on Measures to Address Rising Stroke Cases

Stroke has remained a leading cause of disability, dementia, and death worldwide, particularly in Africa.

This was the submission of medical experts at a two-day African Stroke Leaders Summit Ibadan 2022 organized by the African Stroke Organization in partnership with Africa -UK Stroke Partnership project held at Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Ibadan.

In a lecture, Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ibadan, Professor Mayowa Owolabi said stroke had become a major burden in Africa, and remains the second leading cause of death, noting that stakeholders were poised to reduce not only stroke but other diseases that share risk factors associated with stroke.

In a presentation entitled Overview of the African -UK Stroke Partnership Project, Chair, African  Stroke Organization, AṢỌ, Dr. Rufus Akinyemi affirmed that years ago cardiology disease including stroke was the third cause of death in Africa, but in recent times reports indicated that the disease was now number one.

Dr. Akinyemi pointed out that poor health care infrastructure, and inadequate medical experts, among others, accounted for the increase in the number of stroke cases. 

He called on the government to provide necessary facilities in hospitals as well as enabling environment for health workers.

Dr. Akinyemi advised Nigerians to always go for routine medical checks for prompt detection of hypertension and stroke cases.

Earlier in an address of welcome, Chairman, ASO Professor Adesola Ogunniyi called for more collaboration among African countries to reduce the alarming cases of stroke. 

Professor Ogunniyi said the aim of the summit was to look at the three-point approach, policy research and innovation in order to reduce the burden of stroke on the continent, expressing that it could be achieved through collaboration.

Professor Ogunniyi added that findings of the summit would be utilized in tackling the scourge.

In a goodwill message, the Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Professor Jessie Otegbayo, represented by Chairman Medical Advisory Committee UCH Ibadan, Dr. Abiodun Adeoye pledged that the institution would provide conducive environment for the treatment of stroke patients and would also help in creating awareness about it. 

Professor Otegbayo had already been providing a conducive environment in the area of capacity building, including training, and the institution had created a Department of Neurology to facilitate the engagement of more specialists, adding that UCH would have a very big stroke unit at the Extension Department.

He pledged that UCH would continue to support efforts to bring down the burden of stroke.

Also speaking, the President, of the African Academy of Neurology, Dr. Augustina Charway-Felli decried the inadequate number of neurologists in Africa compared to the population of countries in Africa.

 Dr. Charway -Felli noted that nearly fifty percent of the adult population above fifty in Africa had hypertension, with the majority not aware that they have it, noting that if this was not checked, it could lead to stroke.

She added that ninety-three percent are not controlled, thus their risk is kept at a high level of developing stroke. 

The theme of the two-day summit tagged Operationalizing a Road Map for Burden of Stroke in Africa : Vision 2030, had stakeholders from Egypt, Ghana, Benning republic Tanzania, and other African nations in attendance.

Fasilat Lawal

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