The leaflet has been translated into Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Bengali and was unveiled at last months Mela in Birmingham, a national lifestyle event showcasing Asian culture and celebrating the end of British Asian week.
The risk of stroke is greater in south Asian communities owing to the higher incidence diabetes and high blood pressure (the single biggest risk factor for stroke) but leading a healthier lifestyle can have a positive effect. The leaflet explains how making small changes like taking exercise and choosing healthier options of food and drink can significantly reduce this risk.
Joe Korner, Director of Communications at The Stroke Association said:
“Every five minutes someone in the UK has a first-ever or recurrent stroke. Over 40% of these strokes could be prevented by controlling high blood pressure.
“Translating our preventing a stroke leaflets will make this life-saving information more accessible to first generation Asians and second language English speakers who may not be aware of the risk factors they face. This is vital because people of south Asian origin may be at higher risk of strokes. It is an important step in raising awareness further in these communities of how making even small changes like getting off the bus a stop earlier as well as controlling diet and blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke. “
Singer Jay Sean from pop group The Rishi Rish Project who performed at the Mela said:
“It’s all down to our traditional diet – we need to be much more aware of what we’re eating, less ghee would be good for a start! It’s great that our grandmothers and mothers can get information on prevention in Urdu or Punjabi – they’re the ones who are fattening us up with their cooking! They need to know that more butter is not healthy!”
Comedian Paul Choudhry who compered the acts at the event added:
“I love traditional food but we need to eat it in moderation. Too much oil and ghee causes a lot of health problems for us – we really need to change our diet to cut the risk of stroke. We have a higher tendency towards certain health conditions like diabetes anyway so we’d live a lot longer if we changed our ways and took preventative measures. Leave off the ghee and take some exercise! It’s even better if this advice is available in Asian languages as well as English”
Other high profile Asian personalities such as actress Shobna Gulati and Radio1 DJ Nihal Arthanayake supported The Stroke Association earlier this year in raising awareness of the link between high salt intake, blood pressure and stroke in south Asian communities.