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World Stroke Organization Honors Eight Stroke Centers Powered by Angels Award for their Efforts in Developing Stroke Management in Egypt 

  • Eight Egyptian stroke centers receive World Stroke Organization Angels Award
  • Boehringer Ingelheim undertakes Angels initiative to collaborate with the healthcare community for the advancement of stroke management in Egypt
  • Dr. Mohamed Meshref: We are proud to be part of this initiative and play an effective role in collaborating with international and local institutes in efforts to support more patients and save more lives across Egypt

With 250,000 individuals suffering from stroke annually in Egypt, impacting their health conditions and quality of life, the World Stroke Organization (WSO) honored eight stroke centers across the country for their efforts in providing effective medical care of a high standard in the field of stroke management. The honor is a result of the high-quality stroke services offered to patients in compliance with international standards of the World Stroke Organization and Boehringer Ingelheim’s ‘Angels’ initiative.

Receiving this award from the World Stroke Organization proves Boehringer Ingelheim’s success in establishing high-quality stroke services in Egypt in collaboration with the Egyptian Society of Neurology Psychiatry and Neurosurgery (ESNPN), and the ‘Angels’ initiative. The eight stroke centers are geographically distributed across Egypt to serve more patients throughout the country. This includes six university hospitals, Cairo University Hospital, Ain Shams University Hospital, Ain Shams University Specialized Hospital, Tanta University Hospital, Assiut University Hospital – Neurology and Suez Canal University Hospital, in addition to Nasr City Hospital for Health Insurance and one private hospital; Misr International Hospital.

The ‘Angels’ initiative was launched by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2016 under the auspices of the European Stroke Organization (ESO). In 2019, the initiative witnessed successful collaboration with the Supreme Council of Universities and the ESNPN to execute a comprehensive stroke educational program accredited by the American Association of Continuous Medical Education and endorsed by the ESO. The educational program was held online through lectures led by neurology experts of the ESNPN.

On his part, Professor Hany Aref, Head of the Neurology Department at Aim Shams University and Treasurer of the Egyptian Society of Neurology Psychiatry and Neurosurgery (ESNPN), Head of the Stroke Chapter and managing the stroke program in Ain Shams University, highlighted that the collaboration of different institutes is the road to success towards developing stroke management in Egypt. He stated, “Stroke disease is an emergency case that requires immediate medical intervention to reduce damage and occurrence of any complications. Therefore, it is critical that we mobilize the concerted efforts of different institutes to raise medical awareness of this disease amongst patients, healthcare professionals and the wider community throughout Egypt,” stated Dr. Aref.

He added: “Egypt requires the presence of additional qualified stroke centers to be able to effectively and efficiently serve stroke patients across the country. Today, the existing number of stroke centers in Egypt does not exceed 43. Through our ‘Angels’ initiative, we aim to address this unmet need through the development of 500 stroke centers across Egypt to provide lifesaving support to patients countrywide”.

Dr. Hussam Salah, Professor of Neurology at Cairo University, Executive Director of Cairo University hospitals, Secretary General of the Stroke Chapter of the Egyptian Society of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery, and Member of the MOH National Stroke Board, clarified how stroke requires highly efficient and rapid medical care as it can lead to patients’ death within hours if not diagnosed and treated quickly. He stressed the need to train physicians on managing this disease to be able to diagnose its early symptoms from numbness in the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking along with severe headache. He also discussed the need for healthcare workers to be well-acquainted with the ‘FAST’ stroke test and stroke management protocols to save the patient within “the golden hour”, which is 60 minutes from the start of symptoms to prevent disease complications.”

Furthermore, Dr. Salah highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the disease symptoms and treatment protocol not only in Cairo but across all of Egypt. He also praised the efforts of the Supreme Council of Universities, under the supervision of Professor Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Universities, for their efforts made in establishing and developing the stroke centers of all university hospitals, in addition to boosting the efficiency of the healthcare workers.

Dr. Ahmed Bassiouni, Professor of Neurology and Interventional Neurology at Ain Shams University, Head of Interventional Neurology Division of the Egyptian Society of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Supervisor of the Stroke Unit at Nasr City Hospital for Health Insurance, and Counselor of the Health Insurance Head, stated his anticipation towards the expansion of the initiative across Egypt, stating: “The provision of excellent medical services shall be the goal of every stroke center to ensure the safety and health for every patient. Once the patient reaches any of the stroke centers, the specialized team analyzes the case and decides on the suitable protocol to treat the patient according to his or her medical needs.  Time is a critical element that supports the medical team in their decision on the appropriate treatment. Therefore, we urge that healthcare professionals act fast when the patient or caregivers notice any signs of stroke symptoms”. He added, “The first point to be addressed when developing a stroke center shall be the key aspects of different stroke conditions to guarantee covering needed requirements for the treatment protocol and disease management to prevent complications, in addition to the early rehabilitation. Advancing the quality of stroke services across the healthcare sector will serve as a top priority to serve patients across the country with world-class healthcare.”

Dr. Ahmed Abdel Aleem, Professor of Neurology and Head of the stroke division at Qasr Al-Aini Hospital, Member of the National Stroke Committee of MOH, stressed the significant role that such initiatives play in developing the health sector of the countries, saying, “The World Stroke Organization Angels Award given to the hospitals have three tiers; Gold, Diamond and Platinum. These tiers reflect the level of quality and protocol implantation of each of these centers. We are also aiming to expand the Egyptian experience to several Arab and Middle Eastern countries across the region such as Jordan and Iraq, to support them in preparing the setup for the international Stroke management.”

Furthermore, Dr. Mohamed Meshref, Regional Medical and Regulatory Director at Boehringer Ingelheim Middle East, said, “We at Boehringer Ingelheim believe in the importance of joint commitment in establishing and sustaining public-private collaborations, as these types of partnerships bring enormous amounts of resources and benefits into the medical sector, which in turn aids those in need of quality healthcare services. Our Angels initiative is an example that reflects this belief, and illustrates our unwavering commitment to support the healthcare community in partnership with various stakeholders. In doing so, we can ensure that high-quality medical services are offered to patients throughout Egypt. The awarding of 8 new centers today also reflects the success and our vision towards improving   stroke management in Egypt.”

Dr. Meshref also emphasized the role of the ongoing corporate awareness campaign stating, “Our company believes in the role of awareness for prevention. It is because of this that we launched “Strike the Stroke” campaign to raise awareness on stroke symptoms and the importance of acting FAST. The campaign is aired on radio stations across Egypt as well as on social media channels to reach the wider public.”

To support patients across Egypt to reach the right stroke center close to them in a short period of time, Boehringer Ingelheim and Egyptian Society of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery also launched a ‘Egypt Stroke Centers Map’ microsite. The platform allows patients, families, and the wider community to find the nearest stroke center according to their location. You can visit the website by clicking on the following link: http://egypt-stroke-map.com.

Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that improve the lives of humans and animals. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. Approximately 52,000 employees serve more than 140 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing.

Learn more at www.boehringer-ingelheim.com.

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