Dear friends and colleagues,
With the end of this year may I summarize briefly the work and achievements from the last 3 months.
Firstly, I am delighted to welcome Professor Hugh S Markus from the University of Cambridge, UK, as the new Editor in Chief of our flagship publication The International Journal of Stroke. He will take over in 2020 and follows Professor Geoffrey Donnan who has been the founding editor and Editor in Chief for the last 14 years.
The Global Stroke Fact Sheet 2019 has now been published (open access) in the IJS. This is now the most important source of reference on stroke epidemiology around the world. It gives precise numbers for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke as well as all strokes combined per incidence, prevalence, mortality and DALYs. It also divides by age groups and gender. Thanks go to Patrice Lindsay and coauthors for this achievement.
We have co-signed a policy statement with the World Hypertension League which is now published as “Sao Paulo call to action for the prevention and control of high blood pressure:2020” (Campbell NRC et al. J Clin Hypertens 2019). Preventing and controlling high blood pressure is important not only for stroke prevention but also for prevention and control of many other NCDs. This paper complements the ‘Fixed dose combination antihypertensive medications’ which we signed as another NCD initiative (Lancet 2019; 394:637-8) earlier this year. This statement recommends incorporating single pill combinations as a core medication to be especially effective and resource-efficient in low- and middle- income countries.
At the International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles next February we will hold a joint session together with the ASA. At this conference, talks are scheduled with the interest group for the African Stroke Organisation, the Asian-Pacific Stroke Organisation and the American Stroke Association.
In this newsletter, perhaps the most newsworthy item is this year’s World Stroke Campaign. It had an enormously successful outreach into all parts of the world and the propagation of the slogan: One in Four. Don’t be the One.
While a faculty of WSO members are preparing for the upcoming Stroke Meeting in Rio in March which is under the chair of our Vice-President Sheila Martins, we are all preparing for ESO-WSO Joint Stroke Congress in Vienna 12-15 May 2020 which now runs at full throttle. Abstract submission is ongoing until January 15 and we are expecting record numbers not only of abstracts but also of registrations.
The World Stroke Organisation is a thriving and active organization showing an impressive growth of their agenda and activities. A new website has been activated that is more informative and user friendly. Overall, there is an increase of demands on our governance. We see an increase in the number of internal meetings, teleconferences on all kinds of issues that need to be covered. This is not easy to coordinate considering the difference in time zones among our Executives and Board members who need to be scheduled for a meeting. Thanks to the flexibility and dedication of our officers and the tireless help of our office we have always managed to find time slots for all.
With the New Year coming up there needs to be time for rest and time for family. I wish all Executive and Board colleagues, officers, members and friends of the WSO very peaceful and happy days and hope that next year we will wake up in a more peaceful and happier world.
Achieving our vision of a life free from stroke is a task that WSO cannot achieve alone. We are committed to building our partnerships at the global, regional and national level to scale up and deliver improvements in prevention, treatment and support to reduce the burden of stroke.