SINGAPORE - About 8,300 stroke cases were admitted to Singapore's public hospitals in 2018, which is a 5 per cent increase from 2017, the latest data from the Singapore Stroke Registry showed.
Globally, around one in four adults over the age of 25 will suffer from a stroke in his lifetime. But the majority of these cases - or 80 per cent - can be prevented through lifestyle modifications, and if the stroke is spotted early and emergency treatment done quickly.
This month, the Stroke Service Improvement (SSI) team will be reaching out to the public in places such as the lift lobbies of Housing Board flats, mailing residents and having a larger social media outreach to raise awareness about stroke prevention and detection.
SSI is a national team appointed by the Health Ministry in 2014 to oversee and implement initiatives to improve stroke care.
This three-month campaign is an extension of the 2019 version, named Be Stroke Smart, Be OK: Spot Stroke. Stop Stroke.
"The important message remains that one should seek urgent treatment when any one sign of stroke is spotted, regardless of severity. So, stroke education must not stop," Associate Professor Deidre Anne de Silva, who is the SSI chair and a National Neuroscience Institute senior consultant neurologist, said.
Warning signs of stroke include face and arm weaknesses as well as speech difficulty.
Given the current Covid-19 pandemic, the outreach campaign will be conducted with the required safe management measures, SSI said in a media statement on Monday (Oct 12). Digital platforms will also be a stronger focus this year, with initiatives targeting all age groups.
For instance, to educate the elderly, SSI will organise an e-getai stage centred on the theme Be Stroke Smart on Nov 5, featuring popular getai artists and hosted by Lin Ru Ping.
Bite-sized information used to identify common symptoms of stroke will be conveyed in an entertaining manner. The getai performances will also be live-streamed on the Spot Stroke Facebook page and the LEX-S Watch Live Channel's platform.
Stroke education is also being extended to children , who can help spread the message to the rest of the family especially their grandparents, whom they may spend substantial time with. An action hero storybook will also be launched for young readers.
A series of interactive e-books, games and animations is also now available on this website to educate young children about stroke in a fun and interactive manner.
A virtual storytelling session, in collaboration with the National Library Board, will also be held on Oct 25. The public can register for the session on this website.
More details on the campaign initiatives can be found on the Spot Stroke Facebook page.