Posted Date: 26th Oct 2012
The global campaign to fight stroke continues as we celebrate World Stroke Day 2012. It serves as yet another reminder that African communities in the UK are disproportionately affected by stroke and that we need to be doing still more to both recognise and counter this.
Stroke has a greater disability impact than any of the other chronic diseases. 450,000 people have been severely disabled as a result of stroke in England. Stroke is responsible for approximately 53,000 deaths per year in the whole of the UK.
Amongst Black and Minority Ethnic groups:
• African Caribbean people have a higher risk of stroke than the general population (people of African origin are twice as likely to suffer stroke compared to people of European origin)
• The high rate of stroke among people of African origin is linked to a number of risk factors including high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity
• Stroke mortality rates overall are falling, but for BME groups they are falling at a slower rate than for the general population
In recognition of World Stroke Day AHPN is calling for 3 distinct objectives to be met which will improve outcomes for Africans:
1. It is imperative to reduce the risk of stroke through targeted prevention campaigns and interventions informing and supporting Africans to make healthier lifestyle choices
2. Improved information is necessary to assist African communities in recognising stroke and seeking timely medical help – as an extension of the the existing FAST campaign (Facial weakness; Arm weakness; Speech problems; Time to seek help)
3. Increased investment is needed in services to meet the needs of diverse communities in the UK especially to support rehabilitation which is essential to stroke recovery
There also needs to be a theme of greater patient led advocacy running through the above, and greater user involvement in the design and delivery of stroke service.
Have a productive World Stroke Day. Let AHPN know how you marked the day in your region.