FAST work improves stroke outcomes
The Health Minister Dr David Clark has praised the FAST stroke awareness campaign, describing it as a key tool to help more stroke patients get the rapid treatment they need, while also enhancing health equity.
His comments came during a visit to Wellington Regional Hospital focussing on the FAST campaign, a joint development between the Ministry of Health, the Health Promotion Agency and the Stroke Foundation.
“This year’s campaign helps improve equity as it focusses on increasing stroke symptom awareness amongst Māori and Pacific peoples, while continuing to raise general awareness,” says David Clark.
“Since the launch in July, I’ve noticed the ‘FAST’ messaging throughout New Zealand, in both English and Te Reo Māori. It reinforces that people should call 111 if they experience or see someone else showing any signs of stroke.
“Taking action and calling 111 straight away gives people the best chance of recovering.”
The FAST television commercial was narrated in Te Reo Māori as well as English, while the campaign has been supported on social media by a number of well-known Māori and Pacific peoples.
After meeting the Clinical Leader Stroke, Associate Professor Anna Ranta, during the visit, David Clark praised the teamwork involved in driving the FAST campaign.
“Wellington Regional Hospital exemplifies how all parts of the health system can work together to give patients the best chances of recovery from stroke. I was also privileged to meet patients who have recently had a stroke and was particularly impressed to see their resolve, and the dedication of health professionals helping them recover.”
Stroke symptoms are summed up in the ‘FAST’ acronym:
‘Face – is it drooping on one side? Arm – is one arm weak? Speech – is it mixed-up, slurred, or lost? Take Action – call 111 immediately.’