Conceptual framework for establishing the African Stroke Organization
Sarfo, Fred Stephen
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Africa is the world’s most genetically diverse, second largest, and second most populous continent, with over one billion people distributed across 54 countries. With a 23% lifetime risk of stroke, Africa has some of the highest rates of stroke worldwide and many occur in the prime of life with huge economic losses and grave implications for the individual, family, and the society in terms of mental capital, productivity, and socioeconomic progress. Tackling the escalating burden of stroke in Africa requires prioritized, multipronged, and inter-sectoral strategies tailored to the unique African epidemiological, cultural, socioeconomic, and lifestyle landscape. The African Stroke Organization (ASO) is a new pan-African coalition that brings together stroke researchers, clinicians, and other health-care professionals with participation of national and regional stroke societies and stroke support organizations. With a vision to reduce the rapidly increasing burden of stroke in Africa, the ASO has a four-pronged focus on (1) research, (2) capacity building, (3) development of stroke services, and (4) collaboration with all stakeholders. This will be delivered through advocacy, awareness, and empowerment initiatives to bring about people-focused changes in policy, clinical practice, and public education.
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