The Stroke Unit at Cairo University’s Qasr al-Aini teaching hospital has won the Diamond Award for stroke treatment granted by the European Stroke Organisation.
Hossam Salah, Professor of Neurology at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine, and Deputy Director of the stroke unit at Qasr Al-Aini Medical School, received the award during the 4th European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC 2018) in Gothenburg, Sweden, held from 16 – 18 May.
The award is the highest international honour in the field of stroke treatment. Accordingly, Egypt now ranks among the top in the field: it is first in stroke treatment in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey; and fourth among the 15 European countries that competed for the award.
Dr Salah expressed happiness at Egypt’s winning the award, and pride at the achievement of stroke treatment in Egypt. He said that many of the lectures delivered during the conference mentioned Egypt’s experiment as a role model in the field.
“We hope to support the medical sector in Egypt in order to be able to offer free medical free, top-level service to all patients at Qasr al-Aini’s stroke unit,” Dr Salah said.
Ahmed Abdel-Alim, Director of the Qasr al-Aini Stroke Unit, said that any medical service that focuses on serving the community as a mission needs support. “Our stroke treatment unit,” he explained, “was established in 2016 with the budget granted to us by the government, side-by-side with contributions from civil society organisations and philanthropists. We have to secure further untraditional sources of funding, however, given the rise in number of patients that need the medical service,” Dr Alim stressed.
The stroke unit has 36 beds, including 16 intensive care (with ventilation capability), 16 intermediate care, and four beds for emergency department (thrombosis). This makes the unit the largest high-dependency stroke unit in the Middle East and is fully run by neurologists. It offers thrombolytic therapy and thrombectomy to all Egyptians free of charges.
The unit provides advanced acute stroke treatment services, including neurosurgery, neurointervention, advanced neuroimaging, and neuro-rehabilitation for around 2,500 patients annually.
In 2017, the unit offered medical service for 800 patients; 150 of whom arrived during the first four hour of the stroke and were treated using thrombectomy.
During the first five months of 2018, the unit handled the same number of patients treated in the full span of 2017, since its capacity was gradually raised after opening, which allowed training doctors and nurses.
The cost of treating a patient in the unit includes in some cases the solvent drug, which costs EGP10,000 per injection.
On its website [https://eso-stroke.org/about-eso/#eso-mission ], the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) describes itself as a pan-European society of stroke researchers and physicians, national and regional stroke societies and lay organisations, that was founded in December 2007. The ESO is an NGO comprised of individual and organisational members.
The aim of the ESO is to reduce the burden of stroke by changing the way that stroke is viewed and treated. This can only be achieved by professional and public education, and by making institutional changes.
ESO serves as the voice of stroke in Europe, harmonising stroke management across the whole of Europe and taking action to reduce the burden of stroke regionally and globally.
29 May 2018