Improving Access to Expert Stroke Care in Iran

By Francesca Romana Pezzella, MD, PhD, BSc, MBA, FESO

Brain stroke is a global public health problem, causing premature mortality and long term adult disability worldwide. In the last 20 years the implementation of stroke unit care, thrombolysis and lately thrombectomy has improved the scenario.

In Iran, stroke is the second leading cause of death and it represents a major public health concern, in recent years the situation has improved thanks to a the stroke treatment project “Programme 724” , this aims at enhancing access to high quality stroke care through a series of coordinated and integrated interventions:

  • Implementation of standard clinical pathway for acute ischemic stroke with EMS and ambulance involvement
  • Stroke unit establishment ( 1 stroke unit /300.000 population
  • Increasing access to thrombolysis
  • Public awareness campaign: what to do in case of stroke and how to recognize early stroke signs
  • National Stroke Registry establishment

Since Programme 724, has been established almost 3 years ago the number of ev thrombolys has increased significantly as well as the number of patients suffering from complications has been reduced.
Medical and health allied care education programme are critical to the success of the “Programme 724” and a series of educational initiatives have been carried out; one of the most interesting is the Iranian Stroke School, that last year took place at the end of August and this year it will be repeated on 4-5 October 2019. Experts from all over the world will discuss the new evidence in the field of stroke care and how to translate them in effective policies.