The WHO STEPwise approach to stroke surveillance

While many countries struggle with the consequences and problems of communicable diseases, chronic noncommunicable diseases are on the rise. In addition to being a major cause of death, many surviving stroke patients are disabled and need help in activities of daily living, which must be provided by family members, the health system, or other social institutions.

Lack of data on stroke from many countries hampers efficient coordination of stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. Due to future demographic changes, strategies to reduce future stroke burden and ensure adequate health resources are urgently needed. WHO STEPS stroke surveillance provides the framework for data collection and comparisons between and within populations.