Alarming studies have revealed that every hour one person in the UAE suffers from a stroke.

Annually, that number equates to an average of 8,000 to 10,000 people suffering from a stroke in the UAE.

The news comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO), revealed that by 2030 all diseases will decline in the world except for stroke, ischemic heart disease and cancer. That’s quite worrying when you consider in the past year Rashid Hospital saw up to 700 stroke patients, 20 per cent of which are Emirati.

Even more worrying is the age of the patents coming through. “Around 40 per cent of these patients are younger than 50 years which is a very productive age,” said Dr Suhail Al Rukn, Director of Neurology Residency Programme at Rashid Hospital to Khaleej Times.

In this video two American rappers breakdown stroke facts:

Doctor Al Rukn’s statistics back up the findings that the average age of a stroke victim in the UAE is 45, which is 20 years younger than the global average.

Despite the figures, the UAE is still lacking insight in the problem. Currently there are still only four stroke units – Rashid and Saudi German hospitals in Dubai, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and another in Al Ain.

“We need more stroke units and more rehabilitation centres,” said Dr Nooshin Bazargani, board member of the World Heart Federation. However, this is something Dr Rukn is confident will change, with talks of the Ministry of Health building a dedicated stroke centre in the pipeline.

A stroke is a medical emergency. Spotting the signs and helping someone in advance prevent further damage to the brain and help someone make a full recovery. Delay can result in death or long-term disabilities, including paralysis and memory loss.


Think F.A.ST – Act F.A.S.T: Stroke Warnings And Symptoms

Dial 999 when you see these signs:


Face drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?


Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?


Speech difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?


Time to call 999 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 999 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.


For more information on strokes, visit

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Main image: Getty