Stroke deaths call for more research, staff


A shortage of neurologists has slowed down the early detection of stroke in Kenya. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Data shows that stroke is a leading killer in Kenya and continues to send more people to early graves due to late detection.

While the number of young people affected is also increasing, the condition remains more common among the elderly. This is largely due to the high prevalence of risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes.

The stroke burden has also been blamed on fewer units and poor knowledge of symptoms, highlighting the need for increased investment in care and research.

Experts say the situation has been worsened by a biting shortage of neurologists, which is putting the country’s non-communicable disease care systems, especially cardiovascular care, on the spot.

The latest World Health Expectancy ranking, a global health and life expectancy database, says stroke is a leading cause of mortality in Kenya, with a death rate of 92 for every 100,000 people.

Some 15,895 fatalities ranked Kenya at position 81 out of 183 nations.

As Kenya prepares to roll out universal health services, there is a need to budget for hiring sufficient healthcare workers.

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