Stroke rise in India, a worrying health issue for govt

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare addressed the issue on the rise in deaths due to brain stroke in the country. Unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, harmful use of alcohol, overweight, obesity, tobacco use, etc. are the risk factors of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) including stroke

Stroke rise in India, a worrying health issue for govt

As per a report on ‘India: Health of Nation’s States – The India State Level Disease Burden Initiative’ published by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the incidence of stroke per 1,00,000 population was 65.91 in 1990 and 89.34 in 2016. As per the report, estimated death rates due to stroke in India is 53 per 1,00,000 population in as per the year 2016.

While health is a state subject, the central government supplements the efforts of the state governments for improving healthcare.

Government is implementing National Programme for Prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke (NPCDCS) under the National Health Mission. NPCDCS has focus on awareness generation for behaviour and lifestyle changes, screening and early diagnosis of persons with high level of risk factors and their treatment and referral (if required) to higher facilities for appropriate management for NCDs including stroke.

For early diagnosis, population-based screening for common NCDs including diabetes and hypertension, which are the biological risk factors of stroke, has been initiated by Government of India by utilising the services of the frontline workers and health workers under existing Primary Healthcare System.

Under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana(PMSSY), 6 new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have been set up and upgradation of identified medical colleges has been undertaken with the objective to improve tertiary care facilities for NCDs including stroke.

In relation to this Dr Nirmal Surya, the founder trustee and chairman of Epilepsy Foundation, said, “We are witnessing a rise in the number of strokes, especially among youngsters living in cities. This is a result of a faulty lifestyle, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption. These factors need to be controlled to reduce the risk of stroke.”

Dr Swapnil Sonune, Assistant professor Department of Physical Medical and Rehabilitation at AIIMS, Bhopal said, “There are two factors for stroke, which are modifiable and non-modifiable. To reduce the risk of stroke we should adopt modifiable factors such as reducing alcohol consumption, quit smoking and better lifestyle choice. Also, every person aged 50 and above must go in for a regular medical check-up.”