A stroke, reportedly affecting up to 360 South Africans daily, will be placed in the spotlight in October.Various organisations will participate in a coordinated programme to raise awareness about the severity of a stroke, culminating in the commemoration of World Stroke Day on 29 October.Experts warn that about a third of those who suffer a stroke will die, and a quarter will be left with life-changing disabilities.“We anticipate that the awareness programme will have a positive effect on patients and healthcare professionals across the country,” said Prof. Feroza Motara, head of Emergency Medicine at the University of Witwatersrand and member of the Angels Initiative’s steering committee. A stroke is a “brain attack” that occurs when oxygen supply to the brain is cut off by a blockage or damage to a blood vessel in the brain. This causes brain cells to die, which can be fatal or result in disability. “The chances of recovery for stroke sufferers depend on the speed with which they are treated. People need to know how to recognise the symptoms of a stroke so that they can get to an emergency room without delay,” Motara said. and somebody recognising that they are experiencing a stroke and getting them to an emergency hospital fast. “Such a facility should have well-trained staff and specialised diagnostic equipment to establish whether a stroke has been caused by a blockage in a blood vessel supplying the brain, or by the rupture of a damaged blood vessel which causes bleeding in the brain.” A stroke is a medical condition that claims many lives accounting for many lives will climax on 29 October marking . The Angels Initiative is one of the organisations spearheading the awareness campaign in the country. This is undertaken in partnership with the South African Stroke Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Resuscitation Council of South Africa, Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa, Faculty of Consulting Physicians and the Emergency Care Society of South Africa. Academic partners include the University of Witwatersrand, Pretoria, Cape Town and Stellenbosch. Throughout the month, awareness events will be ongoing to educate the public about the dangers of a stroke. The goal is also to reach up to 1 000 doctors, paramedics, emergency caregivers and other health service providers in regional hospitals across cities in South Africa. The Angels team will conduct meetings in Bloemfontein to further educate the public about strokes. This organisation has been working with South African health professionals and the public in densely populated urban centres to raise awareness about stroke prevention and management. A stroke is a “brain attack” that occurs when oxygen supply to the brain is cut off by a blockage or damage to a blood vessel in the brain.