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Brunei
Thursday, December 8, 2022
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Brunei
Thursday, December 8, 2022
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    Premature stroke fatalities a concern: Minister

    James Kon

    The number of premature deaths due to cerebrovascular disease or stroke in the country has nearly doubled from 58 in 2016 to 93 in 2021, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during the World Stroke Day ‘Walk-a-Mile’ walkathon held at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex’s Open Plaza yesterday.

    The minister called the statistic “worrying”, adding that 400 new cases of stroke are recorded every year, with 65 per cent of cases aged 60 and above and 17 per cent are below the age of 45.

    The minister said from 2016 to 2021, 254 men and 182 women below the age of 70 died due to stroke.

    Overall, fatalities due to stroke have increased since 2016, said the minister. In 2021, 174 deaths due to stroke were recorded compared to 123 in 2016.

    “In terms of risk factors of stroke, more than a third (36 per cent) of the adult population in the country were found to have high blood pressure.

    Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad led a walkathon organised by the Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre to mark World Stroke Day at Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex yesterday. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR
    ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad stretch before the ‘Walk-a-Mile’ walkathon held in conjunction with World Stroke Day; and the ministers at one of the exhibition booths. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

    ABOVE & BELOW: The ministers visit exhibition booths and sign the pledge wall at the event; and members of the public participate in the event

    “Among those suffering from high blood pressure, more than a quarter (29 per cent) are those who have never before been affected by high blood pressure.

    “Meanwhile, among those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, more than a third (35 per cent) do not take medication or do not follow instructions for taking medication to control high blood pressure. In addition, among them are also those who smoke cigarettes, suffer from diabetes and have high cholesterol levels.”

    World Stroke Day is marked globally every October 29 to raise awareness among the public and stakeholders about stroke, said the minister.

    MINUTES CAN SAVE LIVES

    Brunei Neuroscience Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre (BNSRC) Director Pengiran Dr Hajah Siti Nur’Ashikin binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Tengah said this year’s World Stroke Day theme was ‘Minutes Can Save Lives’, emphasising the early identification of symptoms and seeking immediate help.

    She said stroke symptoms are easy to remember with the use of acronyms such as BE FAST (balance, eyes, face, arms, speech, time to get help), adding that if a possible stroke is identified from the impairment of any of the faculties in the acronym, then it is important to get to the hospital or contact 991 immediately.

    “Studies have shown that less than 20 per cent of stroke patients go to the hospital within the period of 4.5 hours required for treatment,” she said.

    Pengiran Dr Hajah Siti Nur’Ashikin said in addition to early detection and treatment, it should be kept in mind that eight out of 10 cases of stroke could have been prevented by reducing risk factors and living a healthy lifestyle.

    “We must together give hope and support stroke patients and their families and not alienate them,”

    she said. “BNSRC will continue to strive towards strengthening of stroke care in Brunei Darussalam to an international level guided by the World Stroke Organization’s roadmap.”

    She said the comprehensive plan from the roadmap covers all aspects of stroke from pre-hospital care to long-term recovery and reintegration into the community.

    Yesterday’s ‘Walk-a-Mile’ walkathon to observe World Stroke Day was organised by the Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC).

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham attended as the Deputy Chairman of PJSC.

    Meanwhile, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad was a special guest.

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