PIMA calls for national stroke prevention programme

KARACHI: Doctors have urged the government to initiate “National Stroke Prevention Programme” with major focus on public awareness campaign, formation of prevention guidelines and support for research related to stroke.

Through the platform of Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) on Wednesday they said that despite being third cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the country stroke has received little attention from health care authorities.

PIMA President, Dr Misbahul Aziz, Neuro-physician Prof Muhammad Tariq and Neurologist Dr Abdul Malik cited Stroke as one of the unfortunate diseases in Pakistan.

They said that due to poor post stroke care up to 40% die within six months and remaining 60% are added to the pool of disabled people.

Mentioning that high blood pressure or hypertension is the top most cause of stroke they said as per National Health survey every third Pakistani above age 45 is hypertensive.

Majority of these patients are unaware of their high blood pressure and they only find out once they have a stroke or heart attack, which is too late, said the doctors.

They said Pakistan is also home to five million Diabetics and around 20 million tobacco users (smokers, shisha, chewing tobacco) that are the major risk factors for stroke.

It was mentioned that stroke is a treatable problem and a large number of patients are able to go back to work after a stroke because of acute stroke management, dedicated in patient care and intense rehabilitation programme.

Research has shown that more than half of this stroke could be prevented by effective Blood Pressure control and risk factor management.