WHO, UN and Global Stroke Policies Update

WHO Regional Congresses

69th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, Copenhagen, September 17-19, 2019

WSO succeeded in getting the option for presenting our crucial points: 1) prevention of stroke by acting on the 10 risk factors causing 90% of strokes including hypertension, smoking, alcohol consumption, insufficient physical exercise and unhealthy diet, 2) access to stroke unit care and treatment, and 3) the need for national stroke plans to ensure timely and universal implantation. Our statement was presented in writing and as oral statement during the 2020 plan progress report session. Representing stroke, I stated that considering that 1 in 4 will suffer a stroke during their life time, it was disappointing that this statement presented on the last day of the meeting was the first time the word ‘stroke’ was mentioned at all. This point was supported by a later statement from WFN.

Focus on this meeting was on vaccination programs, cancer, and primary health care. Further, universal health coverage – which remains crucial in relation to stroke – and the election of Dr. Hans Kluge as new Director General for Europe.

WSO was represented by Prof. Hanne Christensen.

72nd Session of WHO South East Asian Regional Office (SEARO) meeting, New Delhi, September 2-4, 2019

The meeting was inaugurated by the Honorable Union Health Minister of India, Dr Harsh Vardhan. Dr Khetrapal Singh, Director General of SEARO addressed the gathering. The meeting focused on the Sustainable Development Goal targets (SDGs) and progress in Universal Health Coverage. Dr Singh in her annual report stated that among the risk factors for NCDs tobacco use is showing a declining trend in all 11 member States. The picture is less positive for other risk factors such as alcohol, obesity, hypertension and salt consumption. Many member States have introduced screening program for NCDs, there is still a long way to go to get significant levels of effective control of common NCDs. Only around 30% of hypertensives and just over 20% of diabetics are currently diagnosed, treated and controlled in the region. Besides Universal Health Coverage the meeting Also elaborated on the use of Frontline health workers for screening and control of NCDs.

WSO was represented by Prof. Jeyaraj Pandian.