Syazwani Hj Rosli
Four medical students from Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) were inspired to conduct a community project recently to raise stroke awareness among the Brunei community.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Brunei Darussalam for non-communicable diseases and is also the leading cause of common disability in Brunei. There are 300 new cases of stroke in Brunei every year.
The team behind the community project to highlight the impact of stroke in Brunei are a group of third-year students – Nur Amani Syazwina binti Mohd Nor Amin, Ang Yi Han, Muhammad Amirul bin Maidin and Muhammad Faris Hafiy @ Muhammad Syafiq Khairi bin Aide – who named their project ‘CASE 2019’ (Care and Awareness of Stroke for Everyone 2019), which is an exhibition that highlights various aspects of stroke.
Speaking on the project, which the students did as part of their module, Muhammad Amirul said that CASE 2019 started out from their one-day attachment with the Brunei Neuroscience Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre (BNSRC) of the Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) where they got to have an overview on how stroke patients underwent stroke treatment and care.
He shared that they also interviewed stroke patients and their caregivers about their experiences and challenges during and after rehabilitation as well as post-discharge.
Stroke survivors are living in the community with some level of disability that often requires assistance from their caregivers. In addition, their caregivers are often mentally, physically, and financially unprepared for the needs and demands of stroke care required from the stroke patients after they are discharged from the hospital.
“Their story actually motivates us more to do this project because currently, there are no official organisations or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been established to support stroke patients and their families. So this is part of our efforts to raise awareness among members of the public to come forward to help and support them. Stroke care doesn’t end at the hospital, it continues even after the patients are discharged from the hospital. So they need us, they need our support,” he continued.
Muhammad Amirul explained that the reason they created CASE 2019 is that they believed there isn’t enough awareness on stroke in Brunei.
“The awareness of stroke is very important. Stroke can happen to anyone of us, any age and any time,” he added.
The two-day CASE 2019 Exhibition featured posters on types of stroke, stroke prevention, immediate stroke detection and necessary actions in the event of a stroke.
Currently, the medical students are raising funds through their project for the stroke patients and their caregivers. The funds will then be given to PJSC on a later date to be handed over to the aforementioned stroke patients and caregivers.