Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in low-to-middle income countries. The population of Malawi represents the poorest and most underprivileged in these countries. Their lives are made more difficult from stroke from being poor and being unable to work; there is also an additional burden on their family and carers. Stroke (under the umbrella term of non-communicable diseases) has recently been highlighted as an area of prioritisation by the Malawi government.
Approximately 3% of a country like Malawi’s GDP is spent on stroke management and 80% of this is during their hospital stay. This occurs despite prevention strategies such as reducing high blood pressure by taking drugs. With the development of the Malawi Stroke Unit, we will be able to improve stroke care and research capacity and develop pragmatic strategies which will, in turn, contribute to the improved health and wealth of Malawi.