Dr Lorho Pfoze exhorts urgent govt intervention to address rising stroke cases

Joint Stroke Center Certification Program by World Stroke Organization (WSO) and National Accreditation Board of Hospitals and Healthcare providers (NABH) launched in India

Image- Dr. Lorho Pfoze (second from left), Member of Parliament and a member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare and Dr. Sheila Martins (second from right), President of World Stroke Organisation (WSO), along with Dr. Atul Kochhar, CEO (extreme right), National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) and Dr. Jeyaraj D Pandian (extreme left), President Elect, WSO at the launch of WSO & NABH Stroke Certification in India.
New Delhi: Each year 1.8 million new stroke cases occur in the country and every 40 seconds one Indian suffers a stroke. Though brain stroke is a preventable and treatable disease, however, owing to lack of awareness and healthcare facilities, increasing number of people are dying or getting disable.
Recounting his personal experience, Dr. Lorho Pfoze, a doctor himself, Member of Parliament from Manipur and also a member of Standing Committee of Parliament on
Health and Family Welfare, said that his father died of brain stroke after suffering for 10
years and he could feel the pain of victims’ family members.
Assuring the audience at the National Stroke Summit 2022 here at FICCI House to take up the issue with the central
government, he suggested FICCI to prepare a detailed report on the learnings of this summit
and make a representation to the government with the recommendations.
National Stroke Summit was organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce &
Industry (FICCI) on 1st November 2022. The Member of Parliament, Dr. Pfoze was the Chief Guest on the occasion. He launched the World Stroke Organization (WSO) and National Accreditation Board of Hospitals and Healthcare providers (NABH) joint Stroke
center certification program. He also released the stroke awareness video during the
Speaking at the summit, Prof. Sheila Martins, the President of WSO stated that the WSO’s
mission is to reduce the global burden of stroke through more effective prevention, better
treatment, and long-term support. She shared the experience of Brazil and other South
American countries in improving the stroke care services through WSO stroke center
certification program. She also stated that implementation of WSO and NABH joint certification program in India will promote high quality stroke care. Prof Martins aims to
implement globally focusing on low- and middle-income countries.
Representing government’s views, Dr. Atul Mohan Kochhar, CEO of NABH mentioned that
the rapidly increasing number of stroke centers can lead to compromise in the quality of stroke care if guidelines and protocols are not followed. NABH will work closely with WSO
and the experts from India to set standards for stroke center certification.
Sharing his field experience on the issue, Prof. Jeyaraj D Pandian, President Elect of WSO
and a Professor of Neurology and Principal at CMC, Ludhiana said that contrary to
perception, more cases of stroke are happening in rural areas rather than urban areas. The
majority of the stroke units in the country are in the private sector hospitals. There are few
States where stroke units have been developed in Government hospitals. Highly effective
time sensitive treatments like giving clot bursting injection (thrombolysis) and clot retrieving
(thrombectomy) treatment are expensive and unaffordable to many patients. Recently the
Government of India has included stroke care packages including thrombolysis, stroke unit
care and thrombectomy in the Universal health coverage scheme Ayushman Bharat. WSO
and NABH stroke certification will create the delivery of stroke care across the country in a
standardized way.
Several dignitaries from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, stroke experts discussed
the challenges in implementing stroke treatment in India.