Every year on World Stroke Day our global stroke community comes together to speak with one voice for stroke and to urge action on stroke from individuals and from our leaders around the world.
As one of the largest members of our global stroke network, the support and participation of the Chinese Stroke Association on October 29th lend enormous power to our global effort.
This year we are communicating against the backdrop of a viral pandemic which has demonstrated clearly that robust individual health and strong healthcare systems are fundamental for a functioning society.
The world has also learned that when it comes to our health, whether we live in Wuhan or Wisconsin, we are all deeply connected. This connection shows that it is only by working together as a global community that we can hope to address the health challenges that affect us all.
We have learned that stroke-prone patients are also high-risk patients to become afflicted by COVID 19 and this drives the increase of mortality and morbidity.
We have seen around the world that acute stroke patients avoid hospitalization and this has been observed quite frequently in some areas. Thus, these patients have been deprived of a timely assessment, therapy and secondary prevention.
Today we have a great opportunity to change the conversation and to highlight that stroke deserves the attention it needs, the acute medical treatment and specialized care and rehabilitation.
Also, by forcing the issue of prevention, we can make it clear that the solution for stroke is in our hands, the actions that we need to take are built on robust evidence that shows that by addressing a handful of key risk factors, we have the power to prevent every other stroke.
Addressing risk factor modification through population-based approaches will reduce both stroke-related as well as COVID 19 -related mortality, and will make societies more resilient against future public health challenges and will support progress on sustainable development goals.
By taking action at a population level to prevent strokes today, China cannot only improve the health and well-being of its citizens but can make a significant contribution to global health and development goals. By implementing and showing the way on population-based approaches to public health, including tobacco and alcohol control, improved diet, exercise promotion, alongside the implementation of effective tools to manage existing hypertension, diabetes and atrial fibrillation. China has the power to improve not just the lives of its people but to demonstrate clearly that we all have the power to work for our mission of lives free from stroke.
We hope that all of our colleagues in China will join the World Stroke Day movement and make stroke visible on October 29th.
President of World Stroke Organization
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.