Stroke, Politics, Global Health and Development
Pp. 19-40 (22)
At present, there is a serious disconnect between medical advances in the
field of stroke and its worldwide application. Implementation of new advances to treat
stroke depends on country resources and capacity. Stroke (NCDs) cannot be prevented
if exposure to risk factors is ignored and action is taken only to provide high
technology treatment for strokes. Prevention of first and recurrent attacks of stroke in
high risk people through a primary health care approach and affordable stroke unit care
for stroke victims need to be prioritized. Governments have a responsibility and a
fundamental role to play in prevention by protecting people from exposure to tobacco,
harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy food and air pollution. Effective implementation of
policies to reduce exposure to behavioural risk factors and air pollution is challenging
and is often influenced by politics. The tobacco, alcohol and food industries use
devious tactics to protect profits at the expense of the health of people. The general
public could lobby to support government policies that protect the health of people.
Air pollution, Behavioural risk factors, Governments, Harmful use of
alcohol, Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Obesity, Physical inactivity, Public
health policies, Stroke, Tobacco use, Unhealthy diet.
Geneva Learning Foundation, Former Senior Adviser World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.