Being screened for Hypertension is key to stroke prevention – Executive director and Co-founder SASNET-GHANA

Ad Adams

There is the need to medically test or check your BP and know whether one is hypertensive or not, as a key step towards stroke prevention.

This is because while hypertension is a leading cause of stroke, many people living with it are not even aware of it.

Mr. Ad Adams Ebenezer, Executive Director, Stroke Association Support Network (SASNET)-Ghana and Board Director, World Stroke Organization, told the Ghana News agency in an interview that a key point in stroke prevention was knowing one’s risk factors.

He urged people to check their blood pressure levels, exercise regularly, reduce salt intake, avoid excessive alcohol intake, and generally indulge in healthy habits.

Mr. Ad Adams advised against drug abuse and self medication, and described such behaviour as high risk where stroke was concerned.

He appealed to the government to make it a priority to assist persons living with stroke because the condition rendered one quite incapable of taking care of him or herself, which made it impossible for stroke sufferers to be without assistance.

“Stroke sufferers are living in abject poverty. We urge the government to enrol them in the lively hood empowerment programme (LEAP) by Social Welfare  department, Ghana,” the SASNET Executive Director said.

Mr. Ad Adams also appealed to the government to support the one constituency one rehabilitation center initiative, not only for people living with stroke, but others in similar conditions as well.

Mr. Samuel Sedodo, Chairperson, Persons living with Stroke in Ghana in a speech to mark World Stroke Day, which was marked in October called on government to support SASNET Ghana’s Community Life after Stroke Programme, which brings rehabilitation support to the doorsteps of persons living with stroke within the country’s Communities.

“Government must as a matter of urgency, partner with SASNET-Ghana’s Community Life after Stroke Programme, and enroll stroke survivors unto the programme, as some of my friends are living in absolute poverty within the communities,” he said.

Mr. Sedodo also urged the government to implement the Global Stroke Bill of Right which seeks to support and improve the lives of those affected with stroke.

Currently, stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and the second leading cause of death, but almost all strokes can be prevented.

The World Stroke Organization (WSO) report estimates that this year, about 14.5 million people world-wide would have a stroke and out of this, 5.5 million are expected to die.

This year’s World Stroke Day was marked in Accra in October. The World Stroke Day 2020 was officially launched by a representative for the Health Minister Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Themed, “Stroke Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation in Ghana . The event was jointly organized by Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET GHANA) and the Ministry of Health with support  from Wessex  Ghana Stroke partnership, Korle Bu Stroke Unit , Dr. Albert Akpalu senior Neurologist, lecturer  and researcher, Dr Nana  Kwame Antwi Boa Neurology Senior resident and Physician specialist VRA Hospital , Physiotherapy Association Ghana, Occupational Therapy Association, Speech Language and Audiologist Association, Ghana Psychology council, Ghana NCD Alliance , Ghanaian cardiologist Association, Ghana Heart Initiative and World Health Organization representative Dr. Neema Rusibamayila Kimambo.

Stroke happens either when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off because of a blood clot, or because a brain artery ruptures and leads to a hemorrhage. Stroke is the leading cause of death and disability globally. one  in four persons (1 in4) will have a stroke in their life time , knowing your risk factor to prevent stroke is very crucial.