The 4th anniversary of Stroke Foundation of Bengal was celebrated with a seminar at Rabindra-Okakura Bhavan, Salt Lake City on 24th June 2010. The program commenced with the welcome address by the Secretary of SFB, Dr. A. Shobhana who highlighted its activities in the year gone by. Swami Satyadevananda Maharaj, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan inaugurated the function by lighting the ceremonial lamp. Smt. Anita Mandal, Hon’ble Chairperson, Bidhannagar Municipality was the Guest in Chief, Sri Sujit Basu, Hon’ble MLA the Special Guest, Prof. Asoke Kr. Chaudhuri the President of West Bengal Medical Council, Sri. Sudhir De, Editor, Laban Hrad and Dr. Nikhil K. Biswas, President, Indian Medical Association, Bidhannagar Branch were the Guests of honor.

Swami Satyadevananda Maharaj lauded the activities of SFB and stressed upon extensive public awareness and setting up of multiple stroke centres in different parts of our state. Prof. Asoke Kr. Choudhury who is associated with SFB activities since its inception stressed upon setting up stroke centers along with mass awareness. The burden of stroke management could be minimized if the vulnerable individuals are covered by medical insurance. Shri Sudhir De said that his bi-weekly news magazine – Laban Hrad will extend all possible help to SFB in spreading stroke awareness amongst its readers. Shri Sujit Basu was immensely impressed by the activities of SFB and has strongly recommended setting up of a dedicated Stroke-Centre for stroke prevention and rehabilitation jointly between SFB and two municipalities, Bidhannagar and South Dum Dum and promised all help to the Stroke Foundation to fight this devastating and dreadful disease.

Participant group was a healthy mix of people from India as well as Germany and Finland. Prof. D. K. Mandal, in his presidential address, expressed the urgency of setting up of a Comprehensive stroke center, as the acute management and subsequent rehabilitation is absolutely necessary to save life and minimize disability which is the main concern in stroke management. Such centers could be linked to the remote areas through telemedicine so that stroke care service may reach in all remote areas of all districts, where sufficient stroke services are not available. He also emphasized upon training of personnel including nurses and other paramedics to actively involve in stroke care. With all these modalities of stroke care, the burden of stroke can be minimized substantially. It is especially important in our country as most of the patients get affected at around 50 years of age (which is 15 to 20 years earlier than in western countries).

There was also an interactive discussion about stroke services. The panelists included senior consultants in different disciplines of medicine including Dr Paivi Tanskanen, neuro-anesthetist and critical care consultant from Helsinki (Finland). Dr Paivi gave a brief idea about stroke services in her country, Finland and the use of telemedicine there. She opined that although medical knowledge was optimal in Kolkata, the availability of health services was unequal in the population. She agreed that telemedicine would provide the right solution to reach out to remote rural areas where proper health care services are lacking.