24th June,2015: 9th Foundation Day Celebrations of SFB

The Ninth Anniversary of Stroke Foundation of Bengal was celebrated at the famous Geetanjali Auditorium at Bolpur, a renowned Sub-divisional town of the District of Birbhum on 24thJune  2015. Dr. Rupak Ghosh, the President of Bolpur Branch of Stroke Foundation of Bengal, in his welcome address mentioned the importance of the 9th celebration of SFB  at Bolpur and the past activities of the Foundation both in urban and rural areas. Dr.Ghosh ,a senior Consultant in Chest Medicine said that lots of awareness program have been held  in rural areas regarding high blood pressure and  tobacco addiction- smoking and chewing tobacco.   He  stressed  upon the importance of participation of all professionals and the well-wishers in such activities. He pointed out how people still considered Stroke as a Heart Attack. Brain is the target organ in stroke. Everybody should focus on the Human Brain and its  importance in all our day to day activities. The risk factors, signals of stroke and the principles of management were shortly outlined lucidly by him in  Bengali .

 

This Seminar was inaugurated by Shri Somnath Chatterjee, Former Speaker of Loksabha(Parliament) , India. In his inaugural speech he lauded the continuous effort of Stroke Foundation for last nine years against all odds to make the people of different parts of West Bengal and other neighbouring regions know about stroke through different modalities. This great personality of the country especially thanked the Stroke Foundation for choosing Bolpur as  the venue of the celebration of its  9th Anniversary  instead of Kolkata, pointing towards SFB’s  commitment towards stroke  awareness  among the people of the semi-urban and rural areas where bulk  of the Indian population  live. This deadly disease affects everybody everywhere killing and more importantly crippling the patients and their families economically. The burden is huge as , In India, more than  2 millions are afflicted and more than 6 lakh patients die with many more  disabled  annually. This  resulted in  colossal loss of human and economic resources. Unfortunately scope of management is not easily available especially in rural areas.

SFB has been working hard towards Stroke prevention  through identifying  treatable risk factors,of most importance being high blood pressure and tobacco use (both smoking and chewing) which are so common in rural areas and among women. He also mentioned with much interests  the use of mobile technology( “ Stroke Riskometer app”) recently introduced for smartphone users, to detect the preventable risk factors of Stroke as well as heart attack. The Bengali version will be a boon to the Bengali speaking people of Eastern Indian regions.The number of mobile users in our country especially amongst the youth is increasing day by day. SFB is all set to use this apps in its stroke prevention programs. Sri Chatterjee appreciated this new innovation and assured all possible help. He  urged the powers that be to help  SFB  in its on going activities for fighting stroke through  awareness and rehabilitation program in Bolpur area.

Shri Bikash Roychoudhury, the ZIla Sabhadipati (Chief elected person of the District of Birbhum) assured all possible help from his administrative wing to the Stroke Foundation of Bengal, in spreading awareness in all villages of the districts and also to set up   Prevention and Rehabilitation Clinics  early. He appreciated the move of  Stroke Foundation of Bengal in  selecting the Birbhum district, where people need this sort of service more He assured all help from the district administration towards this. Other speakers from NGO, Sevvok, IMA, Red cross, Rotary Club and  Prajapati Brahma Kumari Spiritual University also spoke on the occasion and felt the necessity to work with Stroke Foundation of Bengal to protect  the health, mind and spirit of the people for a healthy society and country.

ShriSushilChoudhury, the President of Sevoks, an NGO who helped a lot in organizing the Seminar assured all help from his side.

The Founder-President of Stroke Foundation of Bengal, Prof.Dipes Kumar Mandal, in his address informed the audience about the latest activities in Stroke Campaign around the world particularly the developing countries. He emphasized upon the need for increasing awareness in the semi-urban and rural areas where proper stroke care is lacking. He elaborated the data from the  ongoing study  at  the Emergency Department of Medical College, Kolkata, by  Dr. Anup Sadhu, the  Vice-President of Stroke Foundation and Head of the Department of Radiology( Imaging Section). The ongoing studies since the introduction of the CT scan machine  2003,till date, has enrolled  more than 20,000 CT proved acute stroke patients.  The interesting observations include: 

 

  • Most patients attended Emergency after about 8 hours from onset
  • Maximum number of patients were in the age group of 41 to 55 yrs (mean age 53 years i.e. about 17 years earlier than that in developed countries)
  • M:F =1.3:1
  • Maximum number of hemorrhage  diagnosed  during onset of winter, during severe cold  and before any festive season
  • Total patients were in the age group of 41-55 yrs – 7950 ( H: I =1.4:1)
  • Majority of the patients with hemorrhagic stroke were undiagnosed hypertensive.
  • Maximum number of patients with ischemic stroke found in the age group of  61-70ys

 

He spoke about  the recent introduction of the Stroke Riskometer app through mobile (smartphone) and its Bengali and Hindi version which will help people of India and Bangladesh having a population of about 1.4 billion. He  showed through slide presentations how to use the Stroke Riskometer app in smartphones, which has been appreciated by many smartphone users, and who were advised to use the “app” for the benefits of themselves, their colleagues and seniors  citizens especially parents. This will help to know the risk factors often unknown to most of the users and  their remedy. This data will be stored for future research in the prevention of stroke devastation in this region. To cope with the challenge of huge stroke devastation and its burden, he emphasized  on the well-established  strategies of stroke awareness with prevention, stroke rehabilitation, setting up  training centres of Stroke  personnel and stroke centres equipped with trained personnel, gadgets and  telemedicine facilities. He was very optimistic about the clear message of help from the persons in power.

 

In the second session of the program, a lively discussion on different aspects of stroke prevention and management was held. A video presentation on  different  disabilities due to stroke, roles played by stroke survivors in propagating awareness and motivating the disabled stroke patients was screened. Many questioned was raised on these issues which were answered in simple  language.

Before the start of the Seminar a screening camp on High Blood Pressure and Diabetes was carried out with active participation of many people of different age groups.