Every Six Seconds

This, however, is more than a public health statistic. These are people, who at one time were someone's sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter, son, partner, mother, father - friend. They did exist and were loved. Behind the numbers are real lives. The World Stroke Organization (WSO) is calling for urgent action to address the silent stroke epidemic by launching the One in Six campaign on World Stroke Day, 29 October.

The objective of the campaign is to put the fight against stroke front and center on the global health agenda.

The 'One in Six' theme was selected by leaders of the WSO to highlight the fact that in today's world, one in six people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime. Everyone is at risk and the situation could worsen with complacency and inaction.

The 'One in Six' campaign celebrates the fact that not only can stroke be prevented, but that stroke survivors can fully recover and regain their quality of life with the appropriate long-term care and support. The two-year campaign aims to reduce the burden of stroke by acting on six easy challenges:

  1. Know your personal risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes, & high blood cholesterol.
  2. Be physically active and exercise regularly.
  3. Avoid obesity by keeping to a healthy diet.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption
  5. Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to stop now.
  6. Learn to recognize the warning signs of a stroke and how to take action.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death for people above the age of 60, and the fifth leading cause in people aged 15 to 59. Stroke also attacks children, including newborns. Each year, nearly six million people die from stroke. In fact, stroke is responsible for more deaths every year than those attributed to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria put together three diseases which have set the benchmark for successful public health advocacy, capturing the attention of the world's media and which consequently has provoked world leaders, governments and many sectors of civil society to act.