Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
A consultant neurologist in Dubai who leads a non-profit organization in the Middle East and North Africa with regards improving awareness and treatment outcomes on stroke has reiterated the need for more dedicated stroke centers across the UAE as studies in the last two years have revealed that over 10,000 cases of the preventable condition have been recorded each year.
“The impact of suffering stroke incidences leave a devastating mark on patients and their families. We need to continue to intensify our efforts to developing dedicated stroke care centres, which will directly lead to faster and better patient outcomes and aims to provide superior technology with multidisciplinary teams that exclusively manage stroke patients in a ward,” said Middle East Stroke Management Organization president Dr Suhail Abdulla Al-Rukn.
Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving the brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients for which the brain cells begin to die in of minutes.
Al-Rukn repeated what he had said in previous press conferences that a “patient loses about 120 million brain cells within one hour of suffering from a stroke incident.”
Al-Rukn issued the statement on the significance of more concerted action against stroke as well as more pro-active support on stroke patients on Thursday, two days after the World Stroke Organization (WSO) spearheaded the observation of the World Stroke Day on Oct. 29.
It was in 2017 when Al-Rukn and the regional office of the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim began work for more dedicated stroke centres in the UAE.
In 2018, they were eyeing to reach 12 of these by 2019.
On Thursday, Al-Rukn, also the Emirates Society of Neurology (Emins) president, led the closing ceremonies of the Oct. 27 to 31 “24th World Congress of Neurology” (WCN) which he oversaw being the congress president.
WCN was a collaboration of Emins and the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
Four thousand neurologists discussed the promotion of better brain health worldwide by way of 232 lectures, 158 workshops, and 1,438 posters.
From the congress, Al-Rukn said: “Healthcare is an ever evolving field and the congress provided an opportunity to share and learn about the latest developments in brain health.”
WFN president Prof. William Carroll said: “The congress had emphasized the importance of brain health, inspiring researchers and patients alike by showcasing extensive, high-quality scientific research and educating with teach programmes.”
Meanwhile, WSO was formed in 2006 when the International Stroke Society and the World Stroke Federation—both of professional individuals and organizations on stroke, merged—“to provide access to stroke care and to promote research and teaching for the improvement of care to stroke victims.”
WSO initially released the “Global Stroke Bill of Rights” in 2014, as a “useful tool to help improve access to care for people affected by stroke across the globe.” The bill is segmented into three sections: the right to receive the best stroke care, the right to be informed and prepared, and the right to be supported in my recovery.
Best stroke care means rapid diagnosis to be treated quickly; treatment by a specialized team at all stages of the journey (in hospital and during rehabilitation); well-coordinated care; access to treatment regardless of circumstances and place of residence; proper and correct treatment with age, gender, cultures, goals, and changing needs over time taken into consideration.
The bill urges everyone to be informed about the signs of stroke namely drooping face, weakened arms, and impaired or garbled speech so that immediate assistance is given to the victim who must “be fully informed about what has happened and about living with stroke.”
It encourages everyone to offer hope, psychological and emotional help, as well as financial and other forms of assistance to the victims who must be allowed to mainstream in the workplace as well as permitted to join in any activity that interests after full recovery.
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