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.