The Sub-Saharan Africa Conference on Stroke (SSACS): An idea whose time has come

Mayowa Owolabi, Fred Stephen Sarfo, Rufus Akinyemi, Mehari Gebreyohanns, Bruce Ovbiagele

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Stroke is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where an unprecedented rise in stroke burden is currently raging, has the highest age-standardized stroke incidence, stroke prevalence, and stroke mortality rates. This is in sharp contrast to the relative decline in stroke incidence in high-income countries over the past four decades through better awareness and control of vascular risk factors. Compared to other groups, Africans tend to have a higher risk of stroke, higher percentage of the hemorrhagic type and much poorer outcomes. Indeed, stroke levies a heavy toll on the developing SSA economy by affecting a relatively younger age group. In this commentary, we examine the disproportionately high burden of stroke in the setting of grossly inadequate resources and evidence-based interventions. We propose an annual pan-regional stroke conference (starting in 2020) to harness global resources and local talent with the goal of galvanizing action to tackle this escalating burden. We anticipate that a successful conference series could become a rallying point for the eventual establishment of an African Stroke Organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - May 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Africans
  • Conference
  • Stroke
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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