World Stroke Day has been observed throughout the world on the 29th of October since 2006. The World Stroke Organisation started this annual event to raise awareness of the seriousness of strokes. It is now the third leading cause of death in the world and has been declared a public emergency. Currently, about 68 countries participate in raising awareness and recognising the need for educating the masses on strokes. World Stroke Day is also celebrated at BGS Gleneagles global Hospitals every year through the organising stroke awareness campaigns. Dr Suryanarayana Sharma, Consultant Neurologist and Stroke Specialist at Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Bangalore details the stroke awareness campaign for this year.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “stroke is treatable, take a step towards it.” The hospital organised a walkathon for stroke awareness. It started at the Rajarajeshwari Nagar BDA complex and ended at the Cariappa Park. The route for the walkathon looped around the neighbouring residential areas, with a total distance of 3 kilometres. Participants were taken to the BGS Gleneagles Global hospital at Kengeri through transport facilities arranged for by the hospital. Along with the walkathon, a 10k marathon was organised, from Rajarajeshwari Nagar BDA Complex to BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital.
Upon arriving at the hospital, the participants and audience were able to attend the official stroke awareness program of the hospital. An exhibition was set up, with 10 large put ups that provided all the details required to educate the viewers about strokes. These included details of the brain, the reasons for the occurrence of a stroke, the risk factors that can increase the probability of a stroke and the symptoms of a stroke. A 15-member volunteer group assisted the attendees in understanding and going through the exhibits. Once the audience had completed viewing the posters, they were encouraged to take a pledge of increasing awareness regarding strokes, equipped with the information they had received from the event. Participants at the event were also given the opportunity to interact with stroke survivors.
A symposium was held for the participants who were seasoned runners, part of different running groups around the city. In attendance were elite runners, experts, and medical professionals, who touched upon the various aspects and areas related to running. A panel discussion on the general problems faced by runners was also organised at the event. In the opinion of Dr Suryanarayana Sharma, the main target group of this event were the youth, as he felt that students, were more impactful in circulating information and inspiring action in the society.
In addition to these events, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals also ran a stroke screening program, offering a range of services like a CT scan, MRI, Doppler scan, and blood tests relating to detection of a stroke at a significantly reduced price during the campaign.