October | Monday | 29, 2018 :: World Stroke Day is observed on October 29 to underscore the serious nature and high rates of stroke, raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of the condition, and ensure better care and support for survivors. On this day, organizations around the world have facilitated events emphasizing education, testing, and initiatives to improve the damaging effects of stroke worldwide. The annual event was started in 2006 by the World Stroke Organization(WSO)and the WSO declared stroke a public health emergency in 2010. The WSO now has an ongoing campaign that serves as a year-round interface for advocacy, policy, and outreach to support strides and continue progress made on World Stroke Day.
The World Stroke Campaign’s goodwill ambassadors include Indian Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, former Miss Egypt Dalia El Behery and cyclist Alberto Contador.
Stroke has been and continues to be a widespread disease worldwide, afflicting over 15 million people each year. Of those 15 million, almost six million die and a further five million are left permanently disabled. A new person suffers a stroke every six seconds.The idea to create a day of awareness began in the 1990s with the European Stroke Initiative. Due to financial limitations, however, the effort was limited only to Europe. The European Stroke Organization continued the project, and celebrates its awareness day on May 10. The WSO World Stroke Day began in 2004 at the World Stroke Congress in Vancouver, Canada. Under the direction of Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, a working group was formed, which was incorporated into a World Stroke Proclamation in October 2006. Around the same time, the International Stroke Society and the World Stroke Federation merged to form the World Stroke Organization, which took over the management of World Stroke Day.
In 2009, WSO leadership turned the day into a year-round campaign to sustain efforts at prevention and awareness raising. In 2010, the WSO launched the “1 in 6” campaign that became the overarching theme for the future campaigns. “Because I care…” was chosen in 2012 as the World Stroke Day slogan and carried on to this year’s campaign. It attempts to address prevailing misinformation about the disease.