SSO in a stroke prevention awareness campaign
Lifestyle risk factors for stroke include being overweight or obese, tobacco use, stress, and alcohol abuse.
MALAWI: As a part of commemorating World Stroke day which falls on October 29 every year, a Blantyre-based non-governmental organization, Stroke Support Organization ( SSO) in collaboration with Malawi Stroke Unit ( MSU) on Saturday, October 30, 2021, organized a big walk from Kachere Rehabilitation Centre to Chichiri round-about in Blantyre, spreading messages on the signs and symptoms of stroke and the ways of minimizing its effects on affected persons.
The Executive Secretary for Stroke Support Organization George Chimatilo said Stroke Support Organisation is a new organization that has been established in Malawi to advance the lives of people living in rural communities, who are suffering from stroke and those who are at high risk of being affected by the disease.
Chimatilo said the organization is targeting these people since they are the ones who lack resources and assistance as far as the stroke is concerned.
He said the main gender of the organization is to help the government know what problems are in the communities and also what the government can do based on the research the organization may get from both Malawi and outside.
“The Stroke Support Organization is striving to make sure that those people living with stroke have resources and get medical assistance for stroke in time. Mostly, we are targeting those who live in the rural area because they do not have enough resources for them to be rescued from the disease. We also want to let the government know what problems people in the communities face based on the research that we may get both here and outside the country,” said Chimatilo.
Responding to how the government is performing in the fight against the stroke, Chimatilo said the formation of their organization and the establishment of the Malawi Stroke Unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital is an indication that the country is now doing enough in the fight against the disease.
“We are now happy that the government has introduced Stroke Unit at Queens Elizabeth Central Hospital where those who are suffering from the disease can go and get medical help in time. The formation of our organization here in Malawi and the introduction of this Malawi Stroke Unit is a clear indication that Malawi has now taken new steps in the fight against the disease,” he said.
In his words, a stroke patient Martin John Bisika commended the Stroke Support Organization for its work in saving lives from the disease and called upon other organizations to emulate the same.
" As one of the stroke patients, I am glad that we now have this organization which is now saving the lives of many from a stroke. Stroke is a very dangerous disease as it causes a high number of deaths every year as well as slows down the development of the country,” said Bisika.
Stroke is the second leading cause of death globally. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there is a blockage in the blood supply to the brain.
Lifestyle risk factors for stroke include being overweight or obese, physical activity, tobacco use, stress, and alcohol abuse.
Other risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and a personal or family history of a heart attack.
Early signs and symptoms are facial droopings, and weakness, and speech difficulties, among others.
This year's World Stroke Day was commemorated under the theme" Precious time".