Stroke and cancer are the major public health problems in India
After the successful compilation of India's national cancer registry, the first-of-its-kind for any disease in the country over the last two decades, the government has embarked on an ambitious project to prepare a national registry for stroke in 2013.
The stroke registry program will be spearheaded by Bangalore-based National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR) which is a constituent unit of Delhi-based Indian Council for Medical Research. The National Cancer Registry work started in 1982 and eventually the program led to the formation of NCDIR. The institution has the mandate to prepare national registries for other diseases such as diabetes and coronary vascular disease. Stroke is the second disease tackled by NCDIR.
NCDIR's director-in-charge, Dr A Nandakumar, recently kicked off the program inviting all neurologists, radiologists, community and public health professionals and physicians treating stroke patients across the country to register their patients with the institution. Just like the cancer registry, initially the registry will seek to access data from at least top 20 locations in the country.
The registry will use information technology tools effectively to capture data about stroke patients from across the country. "The proposal envisages using electronic information technology in collecting information on stroke cases as and when they are reported," wrote Dr Nandakumar in his invitation letter to medical professionals.
Initially, the registry will be a national in coverage. Later, if the response is good, there will be compilation even population-based registries for various cities. This has been done in the case of cancer registry. The two-decade long cancer registry program, the forerunner of the exercise on stroke has been a great success in making available valuable data on cancer incidence and trends to help healthcare professional formulate their treatment plans.