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Stroke: Lack of awareness remains a strong barrier
Published on: Sunday, October 13, 2019
By: Cynthia D Baga

KOTA KINABALU: Lack of awareness about stroke remains a strong barrier towards effective treatment and prevention, said State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon (pic).

He said as all know prevention is always better than cure and stroke will not only affect one person but also family members and loved ones. 

“Stroke is a global health threat. It can happen to anyone anytime and anywhere. 

“Today, it is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide and remains a major health concern in all countries, including Malaysia.

“An increasing number of patients are being diagnosed with acute stroke. 

“According to data published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2017, 11.31pc of deaths reported in Malaysia are caused by stroke.

“However, stroke can be prevented,” he said in his speech delivered by State Health Department Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi, who represented Poon to officiate the Stroke Awareness campaign organised by the Jesselton Medical Centre (JMC) at Avangio Hotel, here, Saturday. Poon further said better understanding of the causes of stroke and lifestyle changes have been proven to reduce the rate of deaths from stroke by half. 

“The patient and family members often need help and moral support.

“High blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and smokers including second hand smokers are risk factors which we should all be aware. 

“Many of these can be prevented through living a healthy lifestyle and diet,” said Poon.

According to him, the aim of the programme on Saturday was not only to raise awareness on the prevention of stroke but also to help stroke survivors explore and live as normal as they can and family members to adapt to the changes in lifestyle.

“I hope programmes like this are encouraged especially with the private sector working together with the public hospitals and NGOs to build a better community,” he said.

Meanwhile, JMC Medical Director Dr Tseu Fui Loong said cerebrovascular disease is among the top five leading causes of death. 

“WHO data indicates that there were more than 15,000 deaths a year from stroke in Malaysia. 

“For every person who has died as a result of stroke, there are another two survivors. 

“A major cause for concern is that the number of stroke cases is increasing day by day.  “We hope that this campaign will create greater awareness in the prevention of stroke among the public. 

“We are also aiming to encourage stroke survivors and their loved ones by making them aware that there are professionals, both in the government and private sectors, available to assist them,” he said.

During the event, the participants were enlightened on topics such as stroke by Dr Shawin Pakiras, stroke awareness and prevention by Dr Richard Ng Kah Pun, role of a physiatrist in stroke rehabilitation by Dr Jamie Joseph, stroke rehabilitation by Maryanne Tunick and stroke and hearing loss by Timothy Wilfred Jepos.



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