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Stroke a top cause of disability among adults, deaths to double

JEDDAH, February 26, 2015

Stroke is increasingly becoming a major health issues in the Middle East and North Africa region, with projections that deaths from it will nearly double by 2030, according to experts.

It is the top cause of disability among adults worldwide and the third cause of death leading to huge impacts on patients, families and communities, it said.

Therefore when it comes to stroke, speed is a critical component of treatment.  As part of Boehringer Ingelheim‘s new regional initiative ‘Making every second count, toward stroke recovery,’ the cooperative started collaboration with regional stroke specialists and neurologists in implementing a stroke programme to facilitate acute care across the GCC, Egypt and Lebanon.

The ‘Mena Stroke initiative’ has three major objectives - focusing on accelerating the decreasing door to needle times- which is the interval between patient’s arrival to the hospital and starting the treatment; support in establishing a dedicated stroke unit in hospitals which will directly lead to faster and better patient outcomes; and raising and increasing the awareness of good stroke management among community and health care professionals.  

The effort is focused towards enabling doctors, physicians, radiology technicians, nurses, and other staff, with the technical knowhow of stroke unit protocol, offering materials to hone skill-sets of the medical staff.

Moreover, the initiative is dedicated towards auditing the development of the unit certifications and sustains the on-going supply of scientific materials to the identified hospitals across the MENA region.

The stroke unit aims to provide superior technology with multidisciplinary teams that exclusively manage stroke patients in a ward. Having such centres will decrease the mortality rates, the complications and outcomes of stroke.

Furthermore, the accreditation from the German Stroke Society aims to cement collaboration with all the Mena countries and thus each country will have a stroke centre of excellence.

Mohammed Al Tawil, general manager, Boehringer Ingelheim, Middle East and Near East area, said: “At Boehringer Ingelheim, we are really happy to lend our support to the initiative as we believe that a dedicated stroke unit will bring faster, lifesaving treatment to stroke patients with better outcomes.  

“It is therefore imperative for a community to be aware of what to do in case a person suffers from stroke as immediate medical intervention is required.”

Boehringer Ingelheim has partnerships with multiple local and international health authorities for the implementation of the initiative. Upon accreditations of identified hospitals highest level of medical care will be passed on to the patients under the universally accepted stroke protocols and management processes, said a statement.

The neurologists can make diagnosis, treatment and prompt evaluation at the dedicated stroke unit would speed the delivery which can greatly diminish stroke related disability and death, it said.

Dr Suhail Abdulla Al-Rukn, neurology consultant, Stroke Specialist, Neurology Department, Rashid Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, which owns the first certified stroke centre, said: “Last year, we launched the stroke centre in the UAE and we have seen the success and declining mortality rate in our stroke patients ever since. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke related brain damage.

“Emergency medical treatment soon after symptoms begin improves the chance of survival and effective rehabilitation. ‘Mena stroke initiative’ will help exercising stroke units within hospitals which will reduce the burden of stroke disability in our community by improving the level and speed of care the team is able to provide.”

The initiative has 3 phases: exploring phase, building phase and validating phase, said the statement.

These phases had been developed by group a regional stroke specialists which will facilitate other centres to establish a standardised stroke service, it added. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Stroke | disability | death | double |

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