the challenge of funding stroke treatment
May is Stroke Awareness month – of course, all of us here celebrate every month working hard to make those around us aware of the people who have suffered strokes and the life changing event it is. Now that we have opened our doors to those with Parkinson’s disease and MS along with a multitude of other less well-known but equally problematic neurological issues, we cannot help but want to raise awareness of all problems that affect the brain and nervous system in the adult population.
There is an interesting group of studies cited in this month’s Lancet that discuss the relationship between poverty and non-communicable diseases including heart disease and stroke. The premise of the study is that in developing nations particularly, emphasis is funding and public health has always been on children and maternal-fetal health problems. The study believes they have shown currently, developing nations are at the point where investment in health should focus on what they term NCD – non-communicable diseases. The studies suggest that investment in the control of NCDs would result in increased economic growth. Early death and disability worldwide are noted as becoming alarming because these diseases were previously only seen in higher income countries.
We often ponder why it is so difficult to raise money to provide help for the disabled and the chronically ill. There are exceptions of course – cancer research and AIDS treatment and research are but two that have been very successful in bringing in high levels of support throughout the community. The success of moving the needle from mortality to morbidity is in part due to the large and generous support that has flowed to each of those diseases.
Perhaps a shift to an economic argument will loosen the purse strings to help combat neurological diseases. We can only hope something will………..