More than 140 neurologists, vascular specialists, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, general practitioners, postgraduates, and students from all over the country gathered at the First National Stroke Conference, organized by the Medical University and University Hospital "St. Marina" - Varna. For two days the participants discussed topical issues related to stroke epidemiology, the Stroke International Thrombolysis Register (SITS) for Reperfusion Therapy, the opportunities for improving the quality of patient care in Bulgaria under ESO EAST Programme, and the medical response to some concomitant diseases. The specialists also discussed primary and secondary prophylaxis, methods of treating acute stroke and neurorehabilitation.
The Conference was opened by Prof. Dr. Silva Andonova, National Interventional Neurology Consultant and Head of Second Neurological Clinic at University Hospital "St. Marina" - Varna. Congratulatory speeches to the participants were delivered by Dr. Nigyar Dzhafer, Deputy Chairperson for the 44th National Assembly, Dr. Lalova, Director of Medical Activities at the Ministry of Health, who presented a greeting address on behalf of Minister Kiril Ananiev and Prof. Dr. Zlatislav Stoyanov, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at MU - Varna, who read the greeting on behalf of the Rector Prof. Krasimir Ivanov. Congratulatory addresses were received also from Mr. Todor Balabanov - Chairman of Municipal Council - Varna and Prof. Dr. Valentin Ignatov - Executive Director of University Hospital "St. Marina" - Varna.
Honorary guests and lecturers at the Conference were two of the world leading researchers in the field of stroke and cardiovascular disease prevention - Prof. Dr. Valery Feigin, an epidemiologist and neurologist, Director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences in Auckland, New Zealand and Prof. Dr. Nils Vallgren, a neurologist, an Honorary Professor at Karolinska Institute, Director of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease Programme at the Department of Neurology at Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, Sweden, and President of SITS Registry Committee.
The initiative of Medical University - Varna and University Hospital "St. Marina" for organizing and conducting the First National Stroke Conference is related to the initiation of long-term cooperation among the specialized stroke treatment centres in Bulgaria with a view to improve the care for people with stroke and to coordinate the efforts to treat stroke, aimed at achieving maximum effect in the country.
The aim is to increase the quality of treatment for patients with stroke, firstly, by providing access to specialized medical care and differential treatment that patients need; secondly, achieving optimization of the quality of treatment in already functioning stroke treatment centres.
"The establishment of the National Stroke Conference marks the beginning of mutually beneficial cooperation among all the stroke treatment centres in the country, aimed at improving the care for people with stroke and coordinating the efforts to treat stroke in order to achieve maximum effect," commented Prof. Dr. Andonova.
Cerebrovascular diseases are a global medical and social issue due to the high morbidity, mortality and disability they cause. Brain stroke is the most common cause of disability and the second most common cause of death in the world. Every three seconds a resident of the Earth becomes a victim of this insidious disease.