A Stroke Unit comprising of a group of neurologists, radiologists, emergency physicians and psychologists will be set up in regional hospitals with the main objective to improve the health of the population by decreasing the frequency, severity and consequences of stroke, stated the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal.
He was speaking, this morning, at a half-day workshop on the presentation of the Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) Action Plan 2023-2027, at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre in Bell Village. The Senior Chief Executive of the Ministry, Mrs Devi Chand Anandi Rye Seewooruthun and other personalities were also present.
In his address, Minister Jagutpal stated that the Action Plan underlines the need for the setting up of a Stroke Unit in each health region. The Stroke Unit, he pointed out, will be equipped with an Intensive Care Unit or a High Dependency Unit, ICU beds, CT Scan and ventilators, amongst others. The Ministry will ensure that proper trainings are given to all the personnel of the Stroke Unit to provide effective and prompt CVA health care services, he added.
The CVA, he emphasised, is a major public concern as it is the second leading cause of death and disability in the world with an average of 15 million CVAs each year. In Mauritius, the total number of CVAs is increasing each year from around 3 100 in 2017, to more than 3 600 in 2021, he said.
CVAs, he observed, can be classified into two main categories namely Ischemic Strokes which are strokes caused by the blockage of an artery of the brain and Haemorrhagic stroke which is caused by bleeding. The Mauritian population, he highlighted, is at high risk of stroke mainly because of the ageing population, lack of physical activities and high prevalence of non- communicable diseases.
Speaking about the Action Plan, Minister Jagutpal indicated that five priority targets have been identified. They are: to reduce the prevalence of stroke risk factors; increase the efficiency in SAMU ambulances; improve the speed of treatment and quality of hospital management; improve the downstream chain of acute care and prevent recurrence; and having reliable and usable data on stroke in the country. The Action Plan also underlines the need for better communication; health promotion campaigns and prevention targeting different age groups, he added.
The Health Minister expressed optimism that the Action Plan will help the health services to be more efficient in reducing the number of CVAs, save the lives of CVA patients and also decrease the degree of disability caused by strokes in the country.