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Stroke or brain attack a major cause of death and disability in India

Dr Lorho Pfoze, a Member of Parliament from Manipur and also a member of the Standing Committee of Parliament on Health and Family Welfare, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion launched the NABH-WSO joint Stroke centre certification programme.

Anjali Bhatia | New Delhi |

The National Accreditation Board of Hospitals and Healthcare  (NABH) has initiated efforts for setting standards for stroke centre certification, through a certification programme launched jointly with the World Stroke Organisation (WSO).

Dr Lorho Pfoze, a Member of Parliament from Manipur and also a member of the Standing Committee of Parliament on Health and Family Welfare, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion launched the NABH-WSO joint Stroke centre certification programme.

Assuring that he will take up the matter with the government on initiatives to create awareness regarding the disease, Pfoze suggested that FICCI prepare a detailed report on the learnings of this summit and make a representation to the government with the recommendations.

Stroke or brain attack is one of the leading causes of death and disability in India. Each year 1.8 million new stroke cases occur in the country and every 40 seconds one Indian suffers a stroke. One stroke death occurs every 4 minutes in the nation. Though brain stroke is a preventable and treatable disease, however, owing to a lack of awareness and healthcare facilities, an increasing number of people are dying or getting disabled

Speaking at the summit, Prof. Sheila Martins, the president of WSO stated that the WSO’s mission is to reduce the global burden of stroke through more effective prevention, better treatment, and long-term support. She shared the experience of Brazil and other South American countries in improving stroke care services through the WSO stroke centre certification programme.

She also stated that the implementation of the WSO and NABH joint certification program in India will promote high-quality stroke care. Prof Martins aims to implement globally focusing on low- and middle-income countries.

Speaking at the National Stroke Summit organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in Delhi, when the programme was launched, Dr Atul Mohan Kochhar, CEO of NABH mentioned that the rapidly increasing number of stroke centres can lead to compromise in the quality of stroke care if guidelines and protocols are not followed. NABH will work closely with WSO and the experts from India to set standards for stroke centre certification, he added,

Prof. Jeyaraj D Pandian, president-elect of WSO and a Professor of Neurology and Principal at CMC, Ludhiana said that contrary to perception, more cases of stroke are happening in rural areas rather than urban areas. The majority of the stroke units in the country are in private-sector hospitals. There are few states where stroke units have been developed in government hospitals.

 Highly effective time-sensitive treatments like giving clot-bursting injections (thrombolysis) and clot retrieving (thrombectomy) treatment are expensive and unaffordable to many patients. Recently the Government of India has included stroke care packages including thrombolysis, stroke unit care and thrombectomy in the Universal health coverage scheme Ayushman Bharat. WSO and NABH stroke certification will create the delivery of stroke care across the country in a standardised way.