By Chisomo Phiri
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-As a part of commemorating World Stroke Day which falls on October 29 every year, a Blantyre-based non-governmental organization, Stroke Support Organization ( SSO) in collaboration with Malawi Stroke Unit ( MSU) on Saturday October 30, 2021organised a big walk from Kachere Rehabilitation Centre to Chichiri round-about in Blantyre,spreading messages on the signs and symptoms of stroke and the ways of minimizing its effects on affected persons.
Speaking during the function, the Executive Secretary for Stroke Support Organization George Chimatilo said Stroke Support Organisation is a new organisation that has been established in Malawi inorder to advance the lives people living in rural communities,who are suffering from stroke and those who are at high risk of being affected by the disease.
Chimatilo said the organization is targeting these people since they are the ones who lack resources and assistance in as far as the stroke is concerned. He said, the main gender of the organization is to help the government know what problems are in the communities and also what the government can do based on the research the organization may get from both Malawi and outside.
“The Stroke Support Organization is striving to make sure that those people living with stroke have resources and get medical assistance for stroke in time. Mostly, we are targeting those who live in rural area because they do not have enough resources for them to be rescued from the disease. We also want to let the government know what problems people in the communities face based on the research that we may get both here and outside the country”, said Chimatilo.
Responding to how the government is performing in fight against the stroke, Chimatilo sid the formation of their organization and the establishment of Malawi Stroke Unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital is an indication that the country is now doing enough in fight against the disease.
“We are now happy that the government has introduced Stroke Unit at Queens Elizabeth Central Hospital where those who are suffering from the disease can go and get medical help in time. The formation of our organization here in Malawi and the introduction of this Malawi Stroke Unit is a clear indication that Malawi has now taken new steps in fight against the disease”, he said.
A stroke patient Martin John Bisika recommended the Stroke Support Organization for its works in saving lives from the disease and called upon other organizations to emulate the same.
“As one of the stroke patients, I am glad that we now have this organization which is now saving the lives of many from stroke. Stroke is a very dangerous disease as it causes high number of deaths every year as well as slowing down the development of the country. Let me also thank the government for establishing stroke unit which is now assisting people to get stroke treatment in time, this is an indication that now we are moving forward as a country”, said Bisika.
Stroke is the second leading cause of death globally. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain raptures and bleeds, or when there is a blockage in the blood supply to the brain.
Lifestyle risk factors for stroke include being overweight or obesity , physical activity, tobacco use, stress and acohol abuse.
Media risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and a personal or family history or heart attach.
Early signs and symptoms are facial dropping, and weakness and speech difficulties, among others.
This year’s World Stroke Day was commemorated under the theme” Precious time”.