The European Commission recently launched the EU Non-Communicable Diseases Initiative – Healthier Together to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD), including stroke, and improve health and wellbeing.

From December 2021 to May 2022, SAFE and the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) worked closely together with DG Sante – the EU Commission department responsible for their policies on health and food safety – in the co-creation process for the EU NCD initiative.

This has resulted in the publication of a toolkit to guide Member states and EU policymakers towards a holistic and coordinated approach for health promotion and disease prevention, treatment and care, for diseases including stroke.

The plan covers the period from 2022-2027 and prioritises four disease groups including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, mental health and neurological disorders and health determinants for all major NCDs. Recognising its significant health burden and opportunities for improvement, we are delighted to see that stroke is specifically drawn out as a priority area under mental health and neurological disorders.

The initiative underlines the vital importance of implementing a national stroke plan, increasing public awareness, and improving screening, encompassing the entire chain of care from primary prevention to life after stroke.

This builds on the Stroke Action Plan for Europe 2018-2030, developed by SAFE in collaboration with the European Stroke Organisation.

We look forward to working with DG Sante and the European Commission in implementing the initiative to improve stroke prevention, care and life after stroke for all affected by stroke in Europe.

The full report can be found here: https://t.co/Iofn3e46NW

Harriet Priois, SAFE President, added:

We welcome this response by the European Commission to the ongoing efforts of the health community to prioritise non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on the EU agenda. We worked together with the European Stroke Organisation on a joint response to the consultation which was based on the Stroke Action Plan for Europe and the Essentials of Stroke care guideline.

 

We are delighted that stroke is drawn out as a priority area and that the Stroke Action Plan will be implemented across Europe. This initiative gives us an ideal opportunity to raise the profile of stroke within our countries and we hope it will contribute to reducing the stroke burden, and improve the quality of life of those living with stroke in Europe.