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Kjell Holm, General Manager of the Swedish stroke association STROKE-Riksförbundet

The number of people suffering strokes in Sweden is declining with 600 fewer cases in 2017 compared to the year before. On top of that, many people think that Scandinavian countries have everything perfectly set up when it comes to stroke and the entire stroke care pathway, from prevention to life after stroke. This week, SAFE spoke with Kjell Holm, General Manager of the Swedish stroke association STROKE-Riksförbundet, who told us about some room for improvement.

SAFE: What is one issue related to the life after stroke in your country that you think needs special attention?

KH: A system for follow-up after stroke. Many stroke-survivors are not provided with rehabilitation after stroke and don’t know where to apply for it. The Stroke-survivor and carers also need a healthcare contact after stroke to talk about their needs and new situation.

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SAFE: What would be the solution, i.e. what is your organisation’s position regarding this issue?

KH: The Swedish Stroke association focuses on and highlights on a system for follow up after stroke for all patients. One tool is the “Post Stroke Check List” and an individual plan for the follow up and rehabilitation.

SAFE: Please tell us more about your organisation.

KH: The Swedish Stroke association started in 1983 and has now 9000 members and 83 associations/clubs all over Sweden. We also have a Stroke fond that contributes to stroke science with 3 000 000-4 500 000 Kronor each year. We are included in providing stroke education for the staff in the stroke healthcare. We distribute a lot of stroke information as books, films, papers, leaflets, website, pod, YouTube, twitter. We also write articles and have meetings with the politicians and decision-makers.