Monash University collaboration to improve stroke care in India

Dominique Cadilhac

Monash University researchers are members of an international collaboration seeking to improve outcomes for patients with stroke in India.


The research project, led by The University of Central Lancashire, has received £1.9m from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to support further implementation of best practice stroke care in India.


Associate Professor Dominique Cadilhac, Head of the Translational Public Health and Evaluation Division, Stroke and Ageing Research will lead the Monash University research efforts.


Associate Professor Cadilhac said the project is due to start immediately and will build on existing stroke unit care with a focus on implementing and evaluating best practice stroke care, and further developing research capability that will not only help developing countries, but will inform implementation of best practice globally.


“Stroke incidence in India is rising. The average age of people suffering a stroke in India is in the 50s, compared to the 70s in Australia and the UK,” Associate Professor Cadilhac said.


“This is largely due to change in lifestyle of the population in addition to environmental factors such as poor living conditions, lack of health awareness and fragmented healthcare infrastructure.”


There are currently around 50 dedicated stroke units in India. As part of this project, researchers will be working with existing stroke units at Christian Medical College, Ludhiana; All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhiand Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and TechnologyThey will look to determine the most effective processes for stroke assessment, care, monitoring and therapy, as well as determining the most economical approaches to assessment.


Professor Dame Caroline Watkins, Faculty Director of Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire, said “A stroke is one of the most serious life-threatening conditions that people can suffer, which is why prompt and effective diagnosis and aftercare is incredibly important”.


“For example accurate diagnosis of whether a stroke is caused by a haemorrhage or blood clot, and precise assessment of associated disorders, will determine the correct type of treatment. This also provides invaluable insight into the most relevant acute stroke care for those most at risk of long-term damage,” Professor Watkins said.


“A country the size of India should have around 3,500 dedicated stroke units to cater for the scale of the problem. The prevalence of stroke is becoming more common and funding is limited, so it is vital that we are able to assess the current working practices and outline the most cost-effective ways of providing high-quality care to stroke patients.”