Singapore

Stroke awareness campaign to focus on e-platforms

About 8,300 stroke cases were admitted to public hospitals here in 2018, which is a 5 per cent increase from 2017, the latest data from the Singapore Stroke Registry showed.

Globally, around one in four adults over the age of 25 will suffer from a stroke in their lifetime. But the majority of these cases - or 80 per cent - can be prevented through lifestyle modifications, and if the stroke is spotted early and emergency treatment done quickly.

This month, the Stroke Service Improvement (SSI) team will be reaching out to the public in places such as Housing Board blocks' lift lobbies, by mailing residents and having a larger social media outreach to raise awareness about stroke prevention and detection.

SSI is a national team appointed by the Health Ministry in 2014 to oversee and implement initiatives to improve stroke care.

EXTENSION

The three-month campaign is an extension of last year's version, "Be Stroke Smart, Be OK: Spot Stroke. Stop Stroke".

The outreach campaign will be conducted with the required safe management measures, SSI said yesterday. Digital platforms will also be a stronger focus this year, with initiatives targeting all age groups.

For instance, to educate the elderly, SSI will organise an e-getai stage centred on the theme Be Stroke Smart on Nov 5.

Bite-sized information used to identify common symptoms of stroke will be conveyed in an entertaining manner.

Stroke education is also being extended to children, who can help spread the message to the rest of the family.

Associate Professor Deidre Anne de Silva, who is the SSI chair and a National Neuroscience Institute senior consultant neurologist, said: "The important message remains that one should seek urgent treatment when any one sign of stroke is spotted, regardless of severity. So, stroke education must not stop."

Warning signs of stroke include face and arm weaknesses, as well as speech difficulty.

MEDICAL & HEALTH