Following the Regional Stroke Symposium, the Argentinian Commission for World Stroke Day was created and the Commission won the 2017 World Stroke Campaign Award for Best Campaign in a High-Income Country. This laid the foundation for the establishment of Por una vida libre de AVC, the first stroke support organisation in Argentina. Key members of the Argentinian Commission for World Stroke Day have continued to raise awareness of stroke prevention and remained committed to building local advocacy capacity to address stroke issues and needs in Argentina.
Doctor Maria Martha Esnaola y Rojas, a founder member of the Commission and at the forefront of establishing the stroke support organisation recalls that ‘there had been previous initiatives to celebrate World Stroke Day, from many private institutions and organisations. However, we set up the World Stroke Day Commission to coordinate the advocacy response with members of different medical societies and support from the Government’. Over the past two years, members of the Commission continued to plan for the establishment of the organisation alongside continuing their stroke advocacy activities and World Stroke Day events. In 2018, Doctor Esnaola y Rojas was interviewed by Adrian Burton for the Lancet Neurology article Argentina's unanswered stroke health-care question
After all the hard work and perseverance, the stroke support organisation Por una vida libre de AVC (For a life free of stroke) was founded in Buenos Aires, in September 2019. The objectives of the organisation are to:
- Reduce the negative impact of stroke on individuals, their families and society in general, giving voice to the stroke patient
- Provide support and advice to patients and their families
- Organize public campaigns and other activities in order to raise awareness about stroke prevention, treatment and rehabilitation
- Try to intercede with the authorities in relation to issues related to Stroke and its effects
- Produce and provide information about the resources for the treatment and rehabilitation of stroke
- Raise funds to support all the aforementioned objectives
- Create and maintain a link with scientific, civil and academic societies related to these objectives.
In 2020, the World Stroke Organization is pleased to welcome Por una vida libre de AVC as a stroke support organization member. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with the organization to achieve its objectives in Argentina.