Current Developments in Stroke

Current Developments in Stroke

Volume: 2

Understanding Stroke in a Global Context

Stroke is one of the most debilitating diseases which poses a significant economic burden on society. Increasing exposure to behavioural risk factors for stroke (tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical ...
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Stroke, Politics, Global Health and Development

Pp. 19-40 (22)

Shanthi Mendis

Abstract

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.

Keywords:

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.

Affiliation:

Geneva Learning Foundation, Former Senior Adviser World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.