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Increased efforts required to scale up quality and reach of services to deliver stroke care: Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh

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WHO reiterates the critical need to address the disproportionate burden of disability and death that stroke is responsible for in low- and middle-income countries globally, including in the South-East Asia Region.

On World Stroke Day, October 29, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia pointed out that as new regional guidance highlights, increased efforts are required to scale up the quality and reach of services that can deliver stroke care.

In a media statement, she commented that region-wide, countries have great potential to improve and streamline stroke services, for example by increasing the availability of CT scanners, enhancing health workers’ knowledge and skills, implementing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, and adopting continuous quality improvement programmes. Health services at all levels must have the capacity to provide fast-track referrals and coordinated emergency stroke care, in addition to ongoing support and rehabilitation for people living with stroke.

She concluded that on World Stroke Day, WHO reiterates the critical need to address the disproportionate burden of disability and death that stroke is responsible for in low- and middle-income countries globally, including in the South-East Asia Region. To do that, efforts to prevent and control NCDs such as hypertension and diabetes must continue to be strengthened, in addition to the provision of resource-linked, evidence-based stroke services that span the continuum of care, from stroke recognition to acute care, rehabilitation and community reintegration.

She believes that “together we can realise a Region in which stroke is more effectively prevented and managed, with fewer stroke-related disabilities and deaths, and greater health, well-being and productivity. Let us achieve our vision, for a healthier and more sustainable future for all.”

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