Eva Pettemeridou, PhD, Clinical Psychology

Eva Pettemeridou from the Cyprus Stroke Association spoke this week with SAFE team about Stroke Survivors’ needs and #LifeAfterStroke in her country. She pointed out the lack of information and services after stroke as one of the most important issues.

SAFE: What is one issue related to the life after stroke in your country that you think needs special attention?
EP: One of the issues pertaining to life after stroke in our country is the lack of information and services following the initial stroke treatment and prognosis. Initially, patients and their families seem to be underinformed, if at all, on the effects of stroke for each individual case, and as an effect the importance of receiving in or out –patient rehabilitation. As a result, the individual returns home without receiving individually tailored treatment that will help in improving post-stroke deficits. Therefore, these individuals and their families return home with little awareness of what is to be expected from the patient cognitively, physically, and psycho-socially, and potential changes necessary for the individual to function independently.

SAFE: What would be the solution, i.e. what is your organisation’s position regarding this issue?
EP: The Ministry of Health can hire staff that can provide information on the importance of receiving rehabilitation based on the needs of each individual, and potential services provided in Cyprus. However, for this to be feasible the Cyprus Stroke Association (CSA) should focus its efforts in influencing all relevant authorities and stakeholders. This may be addressed via directly contacting politicians, writing newspaper articles, and using of social media to bring greater awareness. In addition, by establishing collaborations with different national and international organizations (incl. universities) and companies (e.g. rehabilitation centers, pharmaceutical companies), CSA may be able to further influence relevant authorities in providing maximum support to stroke survivors.

SAFE: Please tell us more about your organisation.
EP: The Cyprus Stroke Association (CSA) was founded on February 10, 2009 (Registration number 3419) and is a Non-Governmental Organisation acting within the Cypriot and European legislation. The vision of the CSA is to work towards the prevention of cardiovascular incidents in Cyprus and to offer maximum help and support to individuals who have suffered a stroke, their families and kin environment.  The mission of the CSA is to prevent strokes, and reduce symptoms through information and education. The aim of the CSA is to identify high-risk individuals and inform them appropriately, access people with stroke and help them receive appropriate treatment and care and improve the quality of life of people with stroke and their families. We also aim to formulate existing legislations for people with stroke, provide information about their rights and the sponsorship offered by the state apparatus.