Solidarity is power declares World Stroke Organization on World Stroke Day

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The World Stroke Organization (WSO) is calling on World Stroke Day (29 October) for stroke communities worldwide to unite and demand accountability from national and regional health authorities in addressing the growing burden of stroke. According to WSO, one in six people worldwide will have a stroke and every six seconds, someone suffers a stroke.

On World Stroke Day 2012, the WSO, along with selected member organisations, is launching the stroke solidarity string. Until now, this disease which kills nearly six million people each year has not had a universally recognised awareness symbol. The stroke solidarity string is being promoted by WSO and its member organisations as the symbol for global stroke awareness. The indigo-colored string represents the connection between all people touched by stroke, the flow of blood and the healthy function of the brain and body. Wearing the solidarity string signifies empowerment and being united with the stroke community.

“The global connectivity symbolised by the stroke solidarity string underlines our one
world voice for stroke,” said WSO president Stephen Davis. “We are all connected by our mission of reducing the global burden of stroke through better prevention, acute treatment and post-stroke care.”


The string is the result of an international competition, spearheaded by WSO, to identify a recognisable
stroke awareness symbol. It called for submissions from stroke communities around the world, including stroke survivors, artists and designers. A panel comprised of distinguished stroke professionals chose the winning entry submitted by Anna Carlile and Joanna Gardener of Viola Design, an Australian communication design studio in Melbourne, for its “versatility and dynamism that could be applied to a myriad of campaign materials.” 


Asked about how they felt in being selected for the WSO award, Carlile explained: “It really is a tremendous honor to be able to create an international symbol, especially one for such an important cause.”


Among WSO member organisations promoting the stroke solidarity string this year are the (1) American Stroke Association; (2) National Stroke Foundation – Australia; (3) Brazilian Stroke Society; (4) Indian Stroke Association; (5) Russian Stroke Foundation ; and, (6) The Stroke Association UK.


Consistent with the message of solidarity, the theme selected for World Stroke Day this year is “
Because I Care…” The theme can easily be adapted to all cultures and in any setting. Myths and misconceptions about stroke remain and the slogan attempts to address prevailing misinformation about the disease, eg, stroke only happens later in life. It also celebrates the important contributions of caregivers, family and close friends – as those in the frontlines providing the supportive care. Care givers are the conduits between the stroke community and the general public in correcting misinformation as they know first-hand the reality of stroke.


“Because I Care” will be the theme of the campaign for the next two years and will address issues related to stroke prevention, treatment as well as care and support. Click
here for more information on the World Stroke Campaign.