Key things to do to prevent stroke

Credit: Stroke Association

By Dr. Bertha Ekeh

LifeStyle Modification--  

Modification of lifestyle is a basic important factor to consider in issues of stroke.

Stroke can be prevented by doing the following:

1. Diet and exercise
2. Weight Reduction
3. Reduce Salt intake
4. Reduce Alcohol intake
5. Blood pressure, Sugar, Lipids control

While global emphasis is on ensuring that stroke survivors are reintegrated into near normal life, it is sad to note that the practice in Nigeria and in fact sub- Saharan Africa, is encouraging very high mortality  from Stroke as well as severe disability for the Survivors.

The main reasons  for these are:
1. Poor control of risk factors
2. Sub optimal stroke care 

In view of this, we cannot help but keep laying emphasis on 
The need for Optimal Stroke Car and Stroke Prevention.

A. Optimal Stroke care in our hospitals
Components of optimal care include:

1.Establishment of Stroke units in all Teaching Hospitals
2. Availability of trained personnel including nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists etc
3. Availability of Thrombolytic agents
4 Availability of Neurosurgical Services

These should not be beyond the Nigerian Healthcare System.

Stroke is a common Acute Medical Emergency. It is also called " Brain Attack" in order to emphasize the urgency required in the management. 
There is no time to fly abroad for treatment for anyone who has a Stroke in Nigeria. This is because the time frame for optimal care is very narrow. It will take least six hours to fly to Europe and much longer to the the US even when there is a ready  air ambulance. 
We need to have optimal Acute Stroke Care in our hospitals. I hope this gets to health policy makers, multinational companies, churches or any individual who can contribute.
You can only receive Optimal Stroke Care in you city of domicile. It's in minutes and few hours!

While the theme for the 2018 World Stroke Day was #UpAgainAfterStroke:
Support for Life After Stroke, it is important to note that the Global Stroke Bill of Rights in 2016 identified key aspects of recovery as follows:

1.Be provided with hope for the best possible recovery
2.Receive psychological and emotional support
3. Be included in all aspects of society regardless of the disability
4. Receive support( financial and otherwise)
5. Be supported to return to work and other activities
6. Get access to formal and informal advocacy
7. Be connected to other stroke survivors and caregivers


Dr. Bertha C Ekeh is a Consultant Neurologist at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.