Report on the 7th Foundation Day
This year the seventh foundation day celebrations of the Stroke Foundation of Bengal (SFB) were held at the Bidhannagar Municipality Auditorium, Salt Lake City, and Kolkata on 24th June, 2013. The function began at 5 PM with the welcome address by Dr. A. Shobhana, secretary of SFB. She highlighted SFB’s activities in the last one year. She informed that this year also SFB has got recognition for its work to prevent stroke in India from World Stroke Organization for the year 2012 as “ Honorable Mention”. She stressed upon the importance of more awareness, which SFB has doing continuously for the last few years. She also told about the importance and usefulness of telemedicine to prevent stroke. The program was inaugurated with lightning of the lamp by Prof. Salil Sen, President of Indian Medical Association, Salt Lake Branch, who in his inaugural speech appreciate the work of SFB in stroke prevention. He mentioned the relation of hypertension or high blood pressure with stroke and told that this year’s World Health Day’s theme was “Hypertension” or High Blood Pressure. By controlling hypertension we can easily prevent the chances of stroke, he said. He also appreciates Dr. Mandal, President of SFB for his work and assured help form IMA in this regard.
Sri Malay Mukhopadhyay, SDO, Bidhannagar released this year’s Souvenir and told that still the general people were in darkness about the malady of stroke. He, who has been associated with SFB’s programs in the past as well, told that like other common man he also was not aware about the difference between stroke and heart attack until he met Dr. Mandal. He stressed upon the change of lifestyle that nowadays play an important role in all non-communicable diseases(NCDs). He said that by changing the lifestyle we could easily lower the incidence of stroke, such as by restricting salt intake in our food, by controlling Diabetes, doing regular exercise, stopping smoking, etc. He also appreciated Dr. Mandal and SFB in its activities to fight stroke devastation in the state
Dr. Amitava Sarkar, WHO Medical Officer, National Polio Surveillance Project, India, told about the project of WHO along with Govt. of India. He mentioned that there was no separate guideline for stroke prevention though it is urgently required to prevent stroke in our country. Stroke is considered with other cardiovascular diseases. He urged general people to join with SFB so that we could spread awareness about stroke more deeply throughout the country.
Dr. Anup Sandhu, Vice-president of SFB, told his long association with Dr. Mandal and SFB since its inception. He described the pattern of stroke in Kolkata and its difference from that of western countries.. He informed about the survey of stroke pattern that SFB has done from 2003 till date in Calcutta Medical College. His prospective CT Scan study(from 2003 till data) on 15000 acute stroke patients at Medical College, Kolkata revealed that majority of stroke patients were in the age group of 50-55yrs, 15 or more years earlier than acute stroke patients in the western countries. He also observed, unlike western studies, majority of stroke are hemorrhagic. He said that hypertension is the single most treatable cause of stroke and how easily we could prevent the malady by measuring our blood pressure by a simple blood pressure instrument, available everywhere. He himself distributed Blood Pressure instruments and the DVD of the stroke documentary in Birbhum district and made people aware about stroke prevention. Dr. Sadhu also informed the audience about the Stroke Support Group (SSG), which is the second one in India that SFB has formed. He appealed to the general people to join SSG and share their views and experiences about stroke.
The President of SFB, Dr. Mandal thanked all who helped in the ongoing activities of SFB. He showed two videos, where one young and an old stroke patient described respectively their post-stroke experiences, problems, hopes and despair. Regarding its next objective to attain, he informed about its plan to set up an Acute Stroke Rehabilitation Unit with the help of the Local Body, and if financial support could be made available, a Comprehensive Stroke Unit would be established. He also stressed on Tele-stroke network that can link easily with hospitals of all parts of West Bengal, as only with the help of this modern Technology, rural stroke care service could be made available at an affordable cost. The help of the Government is the first precondition to make it successful. The recognition and encouragements received from leaders of World Stroke Organisation and of Indian Stroke Association were humbly remembered by the Stroke Foundation of Bengal(SFB), he added. He is always hopeful that these relatively unknown areas of stroke devastation would receive attention from all sections of society, esp. the Government when suffering of patients will be reduced significantly. The program concluded with the vote of thanks by Sri. Asoke De, Treasurer of SFB.
In the second session, there was a lively interactive discussion on stroke, hypertension and life style diseases where the audience shared their experiences, and their queries were answered by a panel of experts including Neurologist, Internists, Neurosurgeon, Cardiologist and Diabetologist.