Burton J. TabaacBurton J. Tabaac, MD

Stroke recovery is a global endeavor currently affecting about 80 million people living in the world today. More than 50 million stroke survivors live with some form of permanent disability.

Join the fight against stroke! In 2015, The World Stroke Campaign focused on raising awareness of stroke prevention and risk among women using the tagline, “I am Woman – Stroke Affects Me, Stroke Affects Everyone.” In 2016, World Stroke Day was marked by recognizing that although stroke is a complex medical issue, there are ways to significantly reduce its impact. The World Stroke Organization built a campaign to underscore that “Stroke is Treatable.” Last year, the World Stroke Day 2017 campaign focused on risk awareness and prevention. This year, World Stroke Day 2018, emphasizes that there are resources and a network to assist those who have suffered from stroke. You are not in it alone! There is a well-developed network for caregivers, families, and friends affected by stroke who can help their loved ones #UpAgainAfterStroke.

Earlier this year, there was a joint statement released by the World Stroke Organization (WSO), the European Stroke Organisation (ESO), the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), and the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) detailing the following: “For stroke prevention, it is important to know that 90% of strokes are linked to 10 modifiable risk factors including hypertension, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet. The same factors apply to ischemic heart disease, the other main cause of global disability and death. The occurrence of an acute stroke has to be considered a major emergency which needs a seamless chain of interventions until recovery. Quality care needs to be provided timely by competent personnel and teams across the whole pathway in an organized and audited manner. This kind of access to adequate stroke expertise should be independent of region, time of day and socio-economic status. … Developments in vascular neurology has made stroke and dementia preventable, treatable and increasingly reversible, thus reducing the burden on patients, families and societies. To ensure these developments are more evenly distributed, we will require national, regional and global efforts to increase awareness, make available quality acute stroke treatment, primary and secondary prevention and rehabilitation.”

Get involved this year to share your story or the story of a loved by using the hashtag #UpAgainAfterStroke. Together, we can effect change for the better.