How to prevent stroke

Facts about stroke in Uganda

  • Stroke in Uganda, a country of 45 million people, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as stroke are estimated to account for 27% of total deaths and a leading cause of serious adult disability.
  • Over 12,147 stroke death occurs every year – WHO data, 2017.
  •  Strokes can affect people at any age. 20–30% of strokes are experienced by people under the age of 65 years.
  • The number of people experiencing a stroke will rise by 40% by 2030.
  • Over 80% of strokes are preventable, thus the number of people suffering a stroke can be reduced if awareness of risk factors is taken in the community.
  • Early medical attention and treatment can prevent TIA. There is nothing ‘mini-stroke’ – seek medical help immediately incase of any symptom, remember “TIME LOST=BRAIN LOST”
  •  Stroke is a medical emergency, and at any sign of a stroke Act FAST or contact us immediately on +256414692507

But what is a stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack as a result of a sudden interruption of blood flow to part of the brain causing brain cells to die. The effects can be overwhelming and may last a lifetime.

OR a stroke is known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).

 Types of stroke,

  • Ischaemic stroke: – is the most common type of stroke, mainly in older people. This kind of stroke occurs when a clot blocks an artery in the brain or within the carotid arteries along the neck.
  • Embolic stroke: It occurs when a  piece of plaque (cholesterol or calcium deposits) on the wall of an artery breaks loose and travels to the brain. This blocks the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and cells dies.
  • Haemorrhagic stroke:Thia is further subdivided into 3;
  1. cerebral haemorrhage occurs when an artery in the brain ruptures (bursts) and leaks blood into the brain causing swelling and pressure, which cause further damage and loss of function.
  2. Subarachnoid haemorrhage occurs when blood leaks into the surface of the brain.
  3. Intracranial haemorrhage occurs when there is bleeding into the brain tissue itself

Common symptoms of stroke:

  • sudden weakness and/or numbness of face,
  • Sudden weakness of arm and or leg especially on one side of the body
  • sudden blurred / loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • sudden difficulty speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • Sudden dizziness,
  •  loss of balance or difficulty controlling movements.

Never ignore the symptoms even if they disappear.


What can I do to help prevent a stroke?

Learn the BEFAST, a warning sign of stroke.

What are the risk factors for a stroke?

Common risk factors include:

  • high blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  •  Atrial fibrillation
  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • high blood cholesterol
  • excessive alcohol intake
  • being overweight
  • family history

How can I tell if someone is having a stroke?

Is it a stroke? Act F.A.S.T. Call +256414692507

How to prevent a stroke

Cardiac checkups – Going for regular check-ups, helps you to know the health of your heart to avoid panic at the last hour.

Exercise –  exercising regularly helps to prevent and manage your blood pressure. 30 minutes of brisk exercise five times a week is recommended to reduce your risk of stroke and other diseases. However, its advised that one follows the FITT principle rule; Frequency, Intensity, time and type of exercise.

Control your weight – Being overweight exerts strain on your heart and other organs and can increase blood pressure and diabetes, thus reducing the risk of stroke. 

Avoid eating raw or too much salt – Eating too much salt will lead to elevated blood pressure as well as an increased risk of stroke.

Unhealthy Diet– Eating a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and low in salt can help you to prevent and manage hypertension. 

Cholesterol –people with high blood pressure most times have high cholesterol. So eating a diet low in saturated fats, and doing regular exercise can help to prevent atherosclerosis. However, cholesterol can be managed by diety. but if not, taking medications to lower cholesterol helps reduce the risk of stroke. 

Stress – Stress may also increase your blood pressure, Persons with high levels of stress experience damage to their arteries over time which increases their risk of stroke and other NCD diseases. Stress can also contribute to physical inactivity and excessive alcohol consumption which will increase your health risks. 

Alcohol – Avoiding alcohol or sticking to recommended consumption of no more than 2 units of alcohol a day helps reduce this risk. 

Smoking – Tobacco smoking may increase your blood pressure because constricts the blood vessels and contributes to damaged arteries and this can result in a stroke.