Experts discuss key stroke issues
Dubai, October 24, 2013
A major conference which aims to discuss prevention and the latest treatment methods of strokes opened in Dubai today.
Dr Ahmad Kalban, CEO of Primary Health Sector at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) inaugurated the two-day second Mena stroke conference taking place at The Address Hotel, Downtown Dubai.
The conference is supported by the World Stroke Organisation and World Federation of Neurology. Boehringer Ingelheim, leading pharmaceutical Company in the region, is also one of the primary supporters.
The conference will address several important topics such Stroke management and treatment. It will cover the acute stroke presentation, complications and interventions. The conference will also cover new advance in the neuro-imaging of acute stroke including: Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Dr Al Kalban said: “Stroke is the main cause of acquired disability and the third highest cause of death in this country. While stroke can happen at any age, one third of strokes occur in people under 65 years of age. Given the high prevalence of strokes globally and in the UAE, such conferences are pertinent to help raise awareness and discuss latest treatment methods.”
He said the link between lifestyle diseases and strokes is well-known and therefore it is important to educate the community about the need to manage lifestyle diseases to avoid complications such as strokes.
Dr Suhail Al Rukn, stroke and neurology consultant at Rashid Hospital, chairperson of the congress and president of the Emirates Neurological Society, said: “The thing about strokes is that it occurs suddenly and the damage takes place very quickly, the longer it takes a person to get medical assistance, the more brain damage. An adult brain has a total of five to six billion brain cells, when a stroke occurs, brain cells start to die. It has been estimated that 1.9 million brain cells die per minute in stroke case. Therefore, the level of disability can be quite severe as the effects of a stroke on the body are immediate.”
He said people with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cholesterol etc. are more prone to develop strokes and that if they control their medical condition they can reduce the chances of developing a stroke.
He said that a simple process can help family members identify if a person is having a stroke or not. “It’s called the FAST test, the details are: Face: check whether the person’s face has fallen to one side and whether the person can smile or not. Arms: Can the person raise both arms or not? Speech: Can the person speak or is the speech slurred? And lastly, Time: If any of the three signs are visible, it’s important to call the ambulance right away.”
He added that people above the age of 30 should check their blood pressure every two to three years and that there is a strong link between hypertension and stroke.
Karim El Alaoui, managing director Boehringer Ingelheim Middle East and North Africa, said: "Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world. In the Middle East and North Africa stroke is increasingly becoming a major health problem, with projections that deaths from it will nearly double by 2030. The younger population of the Middle East and North Africa indicate that in the future, the impact of stroke will increasingly become a burden.
“We are very happy to be associated with the Dubai Health Authority for organising the conference, as we believe there is an urgent need to develop strategies to prevent and better care for stroke patients in this region. With this vital information on stroke, more valuable policies may be developed and more efficient methods of prevention and management can be conceived.” - TradeArabia News Service