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New WSO – NCD Alliance Policy Brief

Acting on Stroke and NCDs

14.12.2018

In partnership with the NCD Alliance and our fellow Alliance members, the American Stroke Association, WSO recently launched a policy brief that aims to drive reduction in stroke mortality at national, regional and global level, by raising awareness on how best to address stroke prevention, treatment and longer-term support.

Acting on Stroke and NCDs sets out key priorities for stroke in that will support delivery of the global target of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by 2025. For WSO members and stroke stakeholders, the policy brief is a resource with which to raise visibility of key stroke issues in the context of national and regional NCD strategies, it is also a vehicle to support engagement and mobilisation of partners working in other disease areas who share common ground in relation to prevention and healthcare.

The document sets out the impact of stroke globally, draws connections between stroke risk factors, comorbidity and gaps in current approaches, and sets out key areas for action which, if taken together would deliver a comprehensive and integrated approach to tackling stroke.

How health care systems can respond to the challenge of stroke and NCDs

Invest in prevention

Given that 90% of strokes are linked to 10 modifiable risk factors, several of which are shared by a number of NCDs, investing human and financial resources in diagnosis, education and risk reduction will deliver advances across the board.

Ensure access to acute and chronic speciality care

People need to be treated in services and by clinicians in accordance with clinical practice guidelines for NCDs. Access to stroke units and to acute therapies is a backbone in stroke care, as is rehabilitation and long-term support.

Strengthen the primary healthcare network

Access to a solid primary healthcare network is essential to effective prevention and long-term treatment of stroke and other NCDs. Financial barriers and out-of-pocket costs for prevention, diagnosis and treatment needs to be reduced. Universal health coverage should cover essential diagnostic and treatment.

Implement the WHO HEARTS Technical package

Taking the seven steps set out in this package would ensure that the right medicine reaches stroke patients at the right time and place, and at an affordable rate.