As Nigeria join the rest of the world to mark 2019 World Stroke Day, Stroke Action Nigeria has raised the alarm over escalating prevalence of strokes, saying that in Nigeria, stroke affects 200,000 people annually.
In a message to mark the day in Lagos, the Chief Executive, Stroke Action Nigeria, Rita Melifonwu said stroke has become the global principal cause of disability and the second primary cause of death worldwide.
Stroke continues to affect 200,000 people annually in Nigeria, yet this is an estimate as we do not have a national stroke register. Noting that the majority of people affected by stroke now in Nigeria are adults in their most economically active lifespan, she noted that it has resulted in unemployment and poverty.
Melifonwu stressed the need for more effective and accelerated action on prevention saying there are also steps that individuals can take to understand and reduce their risk. She said this year’s World Stroke Day would focus on stroke risks and prevention, with the Don’t be the One Campaign highlighting the fact that the lifetime risk of stroke for adults over the age of 25 is now rampant.
We know from the World Stroke Organisation that 90 per cent of strokes are linked to 10 key risk factors including High Blood Pressure, Physical Inactivity, Unhealthy Diet, low in fruits and vegetable consumption, High Cholesterol, Obesity, Active or Passive Smoking, High Alcohol Intake, Atrial Fibrillation, Diabetes, Low levels of Income and Education. There are actions we can take to reduce the risks of stroke.
She said to help drive awareness of stroke risks and prevention, Stroke Action Nigeria is collaborating with a number of Stroke Support Organisations in Nigeria such as Michael and Fransisca Stroke Foundation, Acha Foundation, Stroke Care International, and, IDA Stroke Awareness Foundation to fly the flag for the Don’t Be The One to have a stroke in Nigeria Campaign.
The Chief Executive of Stroke Action Nigeria said that the Trust Board of Stroke Action Nigeria is calling on Nigerians to think prevention and not be the one, to have a stroke.