Stroke | 40% of Patients Die; Gov’t Must Act – Neurologist

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Stroke | A Neurologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr Fred Stephen Sarfo, has called on the government to make the fight against stroke and other non-communicable diseases an urgent priority.

He said more should be done to efficiently manage stroke cases and save many from dying from the disease.

The referral facility, in 2017, saw in excess of 800 cases.

Dr Sarfo, speaking at a public education forum held to mark this year’s world stroke day, indicated that, 40 per cent of patients in the country end up dying, with another 30 per cent returning home with paralysis.

“Recognizing the risk factors of stroke” was the theme chosen for this year’s event.

Dr Sarfo complained about the unavailability of drugs, the lack of vital equipment, and the absence of well-structured health systems to manage the disease.

These, he said, were to blame for the unacceptably high number of people dying from stroke.

He called for the establishment of stroke units and rehabilitation centres across the nation to give the needed care to patients.

Dr Sarfo also spoke of the need to sensitize people, especially those in their productive age, to be mindful of factors that could lead to the disease.

He mentioned some of these as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, stress, lack of physical exercises, smoking and excessive alcohol intake.

They should additionally go for regular check-ups and adopt healthy lifestyles to save themselves from getting a stroke.

“Stroke is not caused by witchcraft, it can be prevented by educating people on the risk factors to protect them and prevent death and disability.”

Mrs Gladys Ghansah, Principal Nursing Officer, appealed for strong support by way of the supply of equipment and space to properly handle stroke cases.

She announced that 233 out of the 369 patients admitted at the hospital between the year 2014 and 2015, did not survive.

Earlier, the facility in partnership with Ernest Chemist, Menri Pharmacy, Medilab and Leo Medical and Beauty Supplies, organized free health screening for the public – to identify those with the risk factors, offer advice and treatment.

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Source: GNA