“The life of stroke victims is made difficult in several aspects. It is not only the physical handicap, but also a state of desolation. Family members can act against these troubles with good vigor and vitality, nevertheless a support of the surrounding society would be much helpful.” says Prof. Pavel Kalvach from Czech stroke support organisation Sdružení pro rehabilitaci osob po CMP (Czech Association for stroke victims).

SAFE: What is one issue related to the life after stroke in your country that you think needs special attention?
PK: This is a point, which we should stress in our Czech community: more clubs for stroke victims, for stroke carers, more encouragement in terms of mutual communications, music, creative activities. The people affected by stroke can produce these activities partly on their own, but they need necessarily organizational as well as logistic support. Given such meetings would be established, we could believe, that they could then run already spontaneously. Certainly much enthusiasm is needed to put these intentions into reality.

SAFE: What would be the solution, i.e. what is your organisation’s position regarding this issue?
PK: The Czech Association for rehabilitation of stroke victims provides counselling, provides courses, activates clubs throughout the country, but its reach is by far insufficient. Many healthy, retired people, who could actively contribute to the care of those less happy in their physical health state, ignore the needs of stroke individuals and thereby also their eventual personal pleasure of making good deeds. Our organization should be more proactive in sharing knowledge and encouraging people in those activities. Self-supporting groups could be conceived and we should reach out to put them in life.

SAFE: Please tell us more about your organisation.
PK: The activity that the Czech Association for stroke victims takes the most merit for is the arrangement of summer camps, aiming at rehabilitation. These courses occur in recreational regions of Czech republic. Care of physiotherapists, of medical doctors, psychologists and logotherapists is provided for groups of approximately 40 persons. These courses are financially supported by our Ministry of health, who would cover ½ of the expenses. The other ½ is covered by each person himself. Besides of the medical and psychological individual and group training also cultural activities are organized, like visits to the sightseeing around, or collective singing, or even dancing. People take great pleasure in such course, but the number of those, who achieve to participate is still too low: About 200 per year. If we compare this with the prevalence of stroke victims in Czech Republic, this number make less then 5% of people, who could profit.