Stroke care development in Sri Lanka: The urgent need for Neurorehabilitation services

Wijeratne, Tissa; Gunaratne, Padma; Gamage, Ranjanee; Pathirana, Gamini; Senanayake, Sunethra; De Silva, Nirodha; Sirisena, Darshana; Wijegunasinghe, Darshana
June 2011
Neurology Asia;Jun2011, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p149
Academic Journal
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in Sri Lanka. Each year one in 110 people in Sri Lanka suffer from a stroke. Population of Sri Lanka is approximately 20 million. It is predicted that, by 2020, 20% of the population in Sri Lanka will be older than 65 years of age. As stroke commonly occurs in the elderly, there is thus an impending epidemic of stroke in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is served by about 30 neurologists (one neurologist per 600,000 people). There are six stroke units in Sri Lanka currently. The lack of stroke units and limited opportunities for neurorehabilitation are major limitations for stroke care in Sri Lanka presently. Thus, training of more neurologists and establishment of stroke units in all major hospitals in Sri Lanka are of high priority. Neurologists' interest and knowledge in neuroanatomy, neuropathology and neurophysiology make them ideal profession to specialize in Neurorehabilitation. There is thus an urgent need to establish Neurorehabilitation as a subspecialty for Neurology trainees; and to establish postgraduate program in Rehabilitation Medicine to improve stroke care in Sri Lanka.


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