Brussels, October 29th, 2019– Based on insights gathered over the years, the Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) is announcing the first ever European event dedicated solely to life after stroke.
Research and medical attention into the areas of primary prevention and intervention at the point of stroke occurring is an understandable priority, yet for millions of people surviving a stroke results in poor quality of life which may last for decades. In all of this, we must not forget that a life saved must also be a life worth living, and in various parts of the world there is an increasing realisation that the care pathway for stroke needs to take a more integrated approach.
To address this issue, SAFE has committed to organising a first of its kind event in Europe in 2020 – a Life After Stroke forum, for scientists, stroke survivors and their carers, medical professionals and health policy makers.
SAFE has recruited Professor Avril Drummond from School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK, as the role of Chair of the Scientific Committee, and we had the pleasure of talking to her about this this key event.
Professor Avril Drummond
Professor Drummond, you chaired the life after stroke domain within the Stroke Action Plan for Europe 2018 – 2030. What is your takeaway from that experience?
I think, first and foremost, the fact that we have this domain in the Stroke Action Plan for Europe included is a fantastic step forward. The recognition of the needs of stroke survivors and their families after their hospital and rehabilitation care, has not previously been given the focus it deserves.
It is in the period after return to the home that the struggle for a new life occurs, which is often characterised by stroke survivors as being cast adrift to find their own way, through maybe decades of cognitive, communication, relationship, financial, mental and physical health issues, complications and changes.
However, there is a lack of research studies into life after stroke covering the entire lifespan and this is something that needs to change. There are growing numbers who believe that pain, depression, relationship breakdown, secondary prevention effectiveness, financial, vocational and stigma issues, as well as the ongoing matters of daily living, mobility, communication, cognition and the absence of ongoing review and support are worth being researched and addressed.
By creating the European Life After Stroke Forum, we are recognising the need to consider this neglected area of the care pathway in a holistic fashion. In addition, the event will put a human face on the consequences of stroke, and on the consequences of not addressing prevention and treatment in the first place.
We are honoured to have you chairing the expert committee for this event. Can you give our readers more insight into the European Life After Stroke Forum?
It is still very early days, but the first steps have been made. The plan is to hold this event towards the end of 2020. We are forming a group of people committed to creating this event, as an opportunity for research, policy, advocacy, or support oriented individuals to come together, to share knowledge and network.
We expect to be able to announce more details on this event’s programme, speakers and topics in the summer of 2020. For more information stay tuned and follow the news on SAFE website.
Fundació Ictus and the four associations who represent the several local patient groups from Catalonia met last Saturday, 26th October to celebrate the World Stroke Day all together. It was the first time Fundació Ictus and the four associations celebrated together that day in Lleida, one of the four major cities of the country.
Xavier Trias, Fundació Ictus’ president, in the middle of the image, surrounded by the four associations who represent patients in Catalonia
All of them read an ensemble manifesto to speak out all people’s necessities related to this disease. In Catalonia, stroke is the first cause of mortality among women and the second one in men. Moreover, stroke is the principal cause of disability, so it becomes a health and social problem for people who suffered one and their families.
People from the four Catalan patient associations read an ensemble manifesto
Xavier Trias, Fundació Ictus’ president, pointed out the importance of collaboration of all the Catalan association that they should work together in order to be stronger. Furthermore, Trias remembered the relevance of prevention to be successful in avoiding the disease and the importance of rehabilitation to minimize long term damages. In the same meeting, there were politicians who listened very carefully to all the demands expressed.
This event came after another one, which took place last Wednesday 23th October in Barcelona. One of the most important concert halls, Luz de Gas, held a live music concert in support of stroke survivors.
The concert hall Luz de Gas, where the live music concert was held in support of stroke survivors
Author: Anna Tsiakiri, PhD, Psychologist from the Greek stroke support organisation, Hellenic Alliance for Stroke
This weekend, the Hellenic Alliance for Stroke in cooperation with the Hellenic Neurological Society, Postgraduate Program “Stroke” of Democritus University of Thrace, Hellenic Society of Cerebrovascular Diseases, Department of Educational and Social Policy of Macedonia University co-organized a two-day scientific event on 19th & 20th October 2019.
The scientific part of the event consisted of lectures from distinguished speakers specialised in Stroke, both in terms of medical care and rehabilitation.
The informative event, that was addressed to general public, aimed to provide useful information about preventing Stroke- how to recognize stroke symptoms, how we should react. A special tribute was made to stroke survivors.
The theatrical group of students of Democritus University has prepared a performance in order to raise awareness of stroke prevention, while HOPA/FAST heroes presented their great work in different parts of Greece.
Hellenic Alliance for Stroke presented their activities and the role of SAFE.
Finally, the event was closed with a Latin performance.
Note: This year’s main theme for SAFE’s campaigning work is Life After Stroke, the issues around it and how the stroke survivors and their families are coping with it. The campaign covers this year’s European Stroke Awareness Day in May and will culminate on October 29, for the World Stroke Day, when SAFE will announce the next big project.
The World Stroke Organisation‘s campaign is this year dedicated to Prevention. Please read below for more information and resources.
Don’t Be The One World Stroke Day Campaign Toolkit for Members and Partners
We are delighted to share the resources and tools for our members and partners to use in their preparation for World Stroke Day 2019. These resources are designed to enable you to develop locally bespoke versions of campaign materials to use in your communication with the public and stroke stakeholders.
The focus of the campaign this year is stroke risk and prevention. The latest analysis of the Global Burden of Disease shows that the lifetime risk of stroke for over-25s has increased and now stands at 1 in 4. The urgent need for action at individual and population level is only matched by the incredible potential for a huge reduction in stroke. While our efforts on World Stroke Day are largely directed towards raising public awareness of the steps we can all take to reduce our risk, the 2019 campaign is a key component of WSO’s strategic commitment to ‘Cut Stroke in Half’. You can read more about how the campaign and the wider initiative are linked in this Lancet editorial.
Key Campaign Tools
- Campaign guide – outlines the broad approach, call to action and brand guidelines for Don’t Be The One.
- Infographics – perfect for social media these highlighting the top ten risk factors for stroke as a group and individually. Also available this year is a World Stroke Campaign branded FAST infographic and an AF and Stroke infographic which was developed in partnership with colleagues at the World Heart Federation.
- Patient information leaflets – each focused on a single risk factor, these can be translated and designed using the files provided to distribute in local communities.
- Social media – a series of social media posts with suggested text and a Don’t be The One picture frame that people can add to their Facebook profile photos. Please follow @WStrokeCampaign on twitter and Facebook and be sure to use the campaign hashtag #DontBeTheOne in your posts so that we can like and share.
- Stroke Riskometer – a WSO endorsed and widely translated free mobile app that enables users to identify their individual stroke risk and take action to address it. We are asking our members to promote the Stroke Riskometer in their community by recruiting high profile individuals to share the link on social media tagging four friends with the hashtag #DontBeTheOne. If you ask your celebrity ambassadors or key social media influencers to do one thing to support World Stroke Day this year, please ask them to do this!
- Digital Banners – to highlight the campaign on websites and e-mail footers.
- Event materials – event posters, pop-up banner, campaign wristbands and a flag.
- Purchased photo stock – to help you develop high quality visual materials that help you to reflect your local audience as part of the global campaign.
All public resources are currently out for translation and will be available to download from in Arabic, English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese and Spanish soon. If you would like the opportunity to facilitate translation into an additional language for hosting on the site, that would be most welcome. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can coordinate efforts.
New World Stroke Campaign website
As part of the launch of the World Stroke Day 2019 campaign we are pleased to announce that the all new World Stroke Campaign website is now live. Please take a look and be sure to register your plans for World Stroke Day events and activities on the Global Map of Action. Registering your event provides a very visible sign of a world united to tackle stroke. As you will see the site provides organised content around key campaign themes of prevention, treatment and life after stroke. These reflect the year round concerns of the World Stroke Campaign and help you our members to access resources and key messages to support your awareness and advocacy work in these areas. The resources on the site will continue to develop and grow to reflect emerging campaigns, resources to support communication on key issues and advocacy engagement.
World Stroke Day Around The World Relay
Starting in the Philippines on 6th October a number of WSO members are organizing public sporting events and literally carry the Don’t Be The One prevention message around the world. Flying a campaign flag from country to country, these events are a great opportunity for members to engage local communities, highlight stroke, share patient information and attract media attention for key stroke prevention messages. Events are currently scheduled across South East Asia, Africa and Latin America. If your organization has a sporting event planned for the run up to World Stroke Day and would like to be included in the Round the World Relay please contact Sarah.Belson@stroke.org and cc email@example.com.
World Stroke Campaign Awards recognize key achievements in raising awareness of the World Stroke Day campaign themes and messages. Nominations for 2019 World Stroke Day campaigns are open until 19th December 2019.
To apply for an award, please visit the World Stroke Campaign website, click on the relevant award category and complete the online application form.
Award winners are featured on the World Stroke Campaign website, media and social media channels and will receive free annual membership of the World Stroke Organization which facilitates free access to the International Journal of Stroke and World Stroke Academy education resources.
For more information, contact Sarah Belson, WSO International Development Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org