On the eve of the World Stroke Day 2008, a “WALK TO FIGHT STROKE” was organized by the Stroke Foundation of Bengal( SFB ) with the help of Student’s Health Home and Janaswasthya Committee, North Calcutta on the 23rd June 2008 in the afternoon.
The WALK through the busy and important roads in North Calcutta ( Shyambazar and Bagbazar areas) saw an overwhelming participation from all. Peoples of all age groups and from all walks of society eagerly participated. This was intended to make the people aware about the about different aspects of stroke, especially risk factors and preventive strategies. It had a great impact on the people regarding Stroke Awareness. The media coverage including National network (DD Metro) was really encouraging.
The Stroke Foundation of Bengal observed the “WORLD STROKE DAY” on the 24th of June, 2008 in collaboration with Indian Medical Association, Bengal Branch. This also marked the second anniversary of the Stroke Foundation. This year’s function on the World Stroke Day and the Second Anniversary of SFB was inaugurated at Girish Manch, Bag Bazar, Kolkata,West Bengal with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the Minister-In-Charge of School Education, Govt of West Bengal, Prof. Partha De. He also released this year’s souvenir. In his inaugural address, the minister stressed the importance of stroke awareness esp the nature of devastation and the strategies to prevent stroke in the community. He expressed all sorts of cooperation in implementing the objectives of the SFB through his departments and other social benevolent organizations. The first issue of the quarterly newsletter of SFB, ”Stroke Barta” was released by the Minister in Charge of Self help Group and Self Employment, Govt of West Bengal, Smt. Rekha Goswami. Realizing the urgent need for a comprehensive stroke care centre, she was of the opinion that a few defunct government health care facilities could be utilized for stroke care under the aegis of the Stroke Foundation of Bengal. Prof.Asoke Chowdhury, the President of the West Bengal Medical Council,was the chief guest for the day. Prof.Sougata Roy, a well-known member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, spoke at length about the lack of public and professional awareness about stroke, which is in fact a “BRAIN ATTACK” and not a Heart Attack. He also pointed about the ignorance of hypertension or high blood pressure, which appears to be the main risk factor of stroke and it could be modified. He stressed upon the fact that the government should take up the cause of this malady and extend support to the Stroke Foundation in making the dream of a comprehensive stroke care centre, which will take care of stroke management, from prevention to rehabilitation, a reality.
Prof. Soumendranath Banerjee, Director of Medical Education, Dept of Health & Family Welfare, Govt.of West Bengal and Dr.Manindra Chandra Banerjee, President of the Bengal Branch of the Indian Medical Association,voiced similar thoughts. Prof..Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta, released a documentary on stroke produced by the SFB on this occasion..This documentary is going to be of immense help in the awareness campaigns of the foundation in the coming days.All the dignitaries in the function praised highly the activities of the stroke foundation in its crusade against stroke, and designated as a pioneering work. They all expressed their willingness to be associated with the activities in all possible ways. Prof.D.K. Mandal, the Founder-President of SFB, in his presidential address highlighted the importance of timely interventions in stroke prevention in the “at risk” population, acute care of the victims and rehabilitation of the survivors. As stroke is a real threat to the life and economy of people, he has earnestly appealed to the policy makers, administrators and the people in general to wake up to the urgent need to fight stroke in all the stages of prevention, acute management and post-stroke rehabilitations. As the incidence of stroke is rising in our country, the government should come forward to provide necessary funds to tackle this devastating disease. He gave examples of how legislations have been passed in the West to tackle the emerging epidemic of stroke. Stroke is a very costly disease and is better prevented than treated. He called upon all to adopt healthy lifestyles for a productive society. The day concluded with a lively interactive discussion on the various aspects of stroke and life style diseases between eminent neurologists, physicians & Neuro-surgeons and the audience.The vote of thanks was delivered by Dr.A.Shobhana,joint secretary,SFB