As the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, calls for proactive measures against high incidence of stroke, a director in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, has said acute stroke patients in the country die within 30 days.
The minister made the call yesterday at a press briefing in commemoration of the World Stroke Day, with the theme: “Together we are #GreaterThan Stroke,” in Abuja.
He said the high incidence of stroke in the country is driven by prevalent risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, poor dietary choices, alcohol use, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, adding that hypertension alone contributes up to 90 percent of all stroke cases.
However, Pate said recognising the vital role of Primary Health Care in disease prevention and early detection, “We launched the National Hypertension Control Initiative (NHCI) in August 2019. This initiative focuses on strengthening PHC Centres to prevent and manage hypertension. The initiative has made significant progress with its simplified hypertension treatment protocol implemented in numerous PHC centres across the country.”
He stated that strategic policy documents aimed at preventing cardiovascular diseases have been developed- including a National Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Policy, Multi-Sectoral Action Plan on NCDs and National Guidelines for prevention, control and management of hypertension.
He said the ministry has also developed guidelines for other NCDs- diabetes, and sickle cell disease, and is currently implementing the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 and Regulations 2019.
The minister therefore enjoined health workers to come together to share key messages on stroke prevention and take action that will help individuals understand and address these risks.
Earlier, Anyaike, who is the director of Public Health Department, said Nigeria bears a significant burden of stroke, adding that current data indicates crude stroke prevalence rates as high as 1,331 cases.
He said stroke is the most common cause of adult neurological admissions in many parts of the country. “Alarmingly, up to 40 percent of patients admitted for acute strokes in Nigeria do not survive beyond 30 days. Many survivors are left with varying degrees of disability and face substantial lifetime costs due to rehabilitation and social reintegration.”