The past Wednesday, Jan van der Merwe, project lead of the Angels Initiative, gave a great presentation about the Angels activities worldwide and the impact it has on stroke care. The Angels Initiative is a global program dedicated to improve stroke care and reduce the burden of stroke on society. Their goal is to make sure that as many patients as possible get to be treated in a specialized stroke care centers and get the chance of a best possible outcome.

One of the main points of the presentation was that stroke is not just one disease, but rather a collection of different pathologies that can lead to a range of complications. Van der Merwe outlined the four big killers in stroke: initial & recurrent stroke, as well as pulmonary and cardiac complications. He stressed the importance of treating not only the initial stroke but to also watch out for these following complications in order to achieve the best outcomes for patients. In this context, van der Merwe also emphasized the critical role of time in stroke treatment. The best outcomes can be achieved when treatment is administered as early as possible, which not only prevents deaths but also disabilities.

He then explained the different phases of stroke treatment: pre-hospital, hyperacute, acute, and post-acute. Each phase has its own set of challenges and goals, from transporting the patient to the right hospital, over time sensitive diagnostics and treatment to constant monitoring, rehabilitation and the prevention of new strokes. The success of the overall treatment depends on seamless coordination and communication between healthcare providers in each phase.

Finally, Van der Merwe discussed the four core goals of the Angels Initiative: ensuring appropriate geographical coverage of the population by stroke ready hospitals, continuously improving the quality of care, growing the Angels community, and building an efficient regional referral network. These goals are a roadmap for creating a global network of stroke-ready hospitals and healthcare providers, with the ultimate aim of improving stroke outcomes worldwide.

We are honored to be working closely with the Angels Initiative on our goal to improve stroke care in Nepal. Through multiple lectures and workshops many of the people participating in this project have had a chance to benefit from the Angels’ experience and learn strategies they can implement in their own hospitals. Jan van der Merwe also highlighted the Angels Awards that acknowledge and honor hospitals that can meet certain stroke care quality requirements – and any hospital can participate! For more information about the Angels Award as well as online learning tools and more check out the Angels’ website:

A great thank you to Jan van der Merwe and the Angels Initiative for this presentation and their dedication and support! Also, thank you to every participant of the Online Lecture Series! We are looking forward to the next Online Lecture on June 7th 2023.

Plese send me the free “Stroke Knowledge” materials: