Stroke survivor to help develop global Bill of Rights

SINGAPORE - Singapore will send a stroke survivor to Vienna next month to help develop an international Bill of Rights for stroke patients and their carers.

The Singapore National Stroke Association (SNSA) announced at its inaugural charity gala last night that it had selected 66-year-old engineer Anthony Quek to represent Singapore.

The meeting from Sept 19 to 23 is led by the World Stroke Organisation (WSO), and the document aims to set out guidelines for the prevention, treatment and long-term care of the condition.

It will be launched at the World Stroke Congress in Istanbul in October next year.

Mr Quek had a mild stroke two years ago but has almost fully recovered. "Initially, I was unable to sit or walk around on my own. It took me nearly 45 minutes to shower."

The SNSA committee member plans to share his experience at the global meeting and learn how other countries deal with the condition.

In Singapore, stroke was the fourth most common cause of death in 2011, making up about one in 10 deaths.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, the guest of honour at on Sunday's event, said the number of cases is expected to rise with Singapore's ageing population as risk increases with age.

"However, we can change our lifestyle to reduce the risks. Reducing salt intake lowers the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Quitting smoking and maintaining an active lifestyle will help."

The SNSA has raised almost $50,000 so far, which will go towards its outreach, education and advocacy programmes.

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