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 About World Stroke Day 2011 

Saturday, 29 October is World Stroke Day

Every six seconds, regardless of age or gender – someone somewhere will die from stroke. 

This, however, is more than a public health statistic. These are people, who at one time, were someone’s sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter, son, partner, mother, father… friend. They did exist and were loved. Behind the numbers are real lives. The World Stroke Organization (WSO) is calling for urgent action to address the silent stroke epidemic by launching the “1 in 6” campaign on World Stroke Day, 29 October 2010. WSO looks forward to working with its members and partners in getting the message across that stroke can be beaten.

The objective of the campaign is to put the fight against stroke front and center on the global health agenda. The “1 in 6” theme was selected by leaders of the WSO to highlight the fact that in today’s world, one in six people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime. Everyone is at risk and the situation could worsen with complacency and inaction.

The “1 in 6” campaign celebrates the fact that not only can stroke be prevented, but that stroke survivors can fully recover and regain their quality of life with the appropriate long-term care and support. The two-year campaign aims to reduce the burden of stroke by acting on six easy challenges:

1. Know your personal risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol.

2. Be physically active and exercise regularly.

3. Avoid obesity by keeping to a healthy diet.

4. Limit alcohol consumption.

5. Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to stop now.

6. Learn to recognize the warning signs of a stroke and how to take action.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death for people above the age of 60, and the fifth leading cause in people aged 15 to 59. Stroke also attacks children, including newborns.  Each year, nearly six million people die from stroke. In fact, stroke is responsible for more deaths every year than those attributed to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria put together – three diseases which have set the benchmark for successful public health advocacy, capturing the attention of the world’s media and which consequently has provoked world leaders, governments and many sectors of civil society to act.

Stroke is indiscriminate and does not respect borders. Individual countries cannot address the challenges of stroke in isolation. World Stroke Day brings together advocacy groups, patient survivor support networks, volunteer stroke societies, public health authorities, physicians, nurses and others within the allied health professions including civil society at-large, for a collaborative approach to comprehensive stroke education, advocacy, prevention, treatment and long-term care and support for stroke survivors.

Further information will be made available in the lead-up to World Stroke Day 2011. Join Us. Save a life Now!