Guwahati: Boehringer Ingelheim India, a world-leading, research-driven pharmaceutical company, has released the findings of India’s first consumer survey on brain stroke titled – The State of Stroke: A Survey On Awareness About Stroke In Urban India, ahead of World Brain Day, 2022. The survey was commissioned by Boehringer Ingelheim India and conducted by IPSOS, a global leader in market research.
According to the Indian Stroke Association, approximately 1.8 million people in India suffer from brain stroke, it is the second most common cause of death after coronary artery disease (CAD) in India. While Lancet Global Health, in 2019 states that 7.4% of the total deaths in the country were due to brain stroke. As per the Indian Stroke Association, there has been a 100 percent increase in stroke deaths in the country between 1996-2019. A major cause for this increase is the lack of awareness around the disease, its prevention, and treatment. Boehringer Ingelheim India commissioned a national survey that brought to the fore, the ‘lack of awareness around brain stroke’ in the country.
The survey, conducted by IPSOS across 12 cities in India with a sample size of 4742, revealed that only 22% of the respondents across the country were aware of the risk factors and symptoms of brain stroke, and the awareness levels further drop to just 10% with respect to the treatment options.
However, in Guwahati, the survey indicated a higher level of awareness around the condition among respondents as compared to the national average:
1.While 70% of respondents were aware of the term brain stroke nationally, this figure was higher in Guwahati, with 84% of respondents who recalled awareness of brain stroke. This was higher than most of the other major Indian metros that were a part of the survey, including Mumbai and Delhi.
2.Awareness of treatment options was also higher at 30%, compared to only 10% nationally.
3.Even the awareness of diagnostic procedures was higher at 21%, compared to the national average of 11%.
4.However, the awareness of risk factors associated with the condition was lower at 11%, as compared to the national average of 23%.
“The report is a clarion call to improve access to quality stroke care services in India. Time saved is brain saved and considering only 20% were aware of risk factors in the cities surveyed, we need a massive awareness campaign to help families and patients identify stroke and reach hospitals on time. The patients group Stroke Support Alliance calls for all stakeholders to come together and save every stroke patient that can be saved,” said Dr. Ratna Devi, CEO and Co-founder, DakshamA Health and Education.
Dr. Shraddha Bhure, Medical Director, Boehringer Ingelheim India, said, “Brain stroke is a serious medical emergency which could result in devastating disabilities. In a country like India, where its incidences are on the rise, addressing an episode of brain stroke in a timely manner can go a long way. Boehringer Ingelheim endeavors to raise awareness around this serious condition and emphasize the need for prompt response in the event of a stroke. In that context, our website’s – strokeofsupport.com – special feature helping people find the nearest stroke ready center is in response to this need.”
Dr. Biplab Das, Director & Head, Department of Neurology & Interventional Neuroradiology, Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre, New Delhi said, “While brain stroke is one of the most devastating diseases, awareness around the condition continues to remain low in India. However, it is heartening to see that the awareness in Guwahati is higher, as evidenced by the survey conducted by Boehringer Ingelheim. While this may be a positive sign, we must not let our guards down and continue to facilitate knowledge sharing around this disease, its symptoms and treatment to ultimately help save lives.”
Public stroke awareness and support for stroke survivors is pre-eminent for effective community stroke care. “We Care Stroke”, a stroke support organisation, working actively in collaboration with different establishments in this direction. One of the major drives, this organisation blueprinting is stroke awareness-care-support, in addition to the comprehensive stroke survivor support.
To address the awareness gap, Boehringer Ingelheim India launched a website – strokeofsupport.com. The dedicated website is an online stroke support and information portal designed to help both patients and caregivers. One of the key features of the website is to find the nearest Stroke ready center by pin code. A stroke ready center is a hospital with 24/7 rapid diagnostic procedures like CT scans and a dedicated stroke response team, equipped to provide emergency stroke care.