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Nov 15, 2022

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa, nearly 240 people suffer from strokes every day and of those, 70 lose their lives. A stroke is mainly caused by hypertension, also known as high blood pressure (HBP), which is a very common medical condition that we all need to be aware. Assessments help to detect early signs of a stroke and enable you to take the necessary steps to counter before it’s too late.

Hypertension is also called the “silent killer” because most people are unaware of the symptoms and when they take place, which is why it is important to take the time to get assessed and have your blood pressure checked. Symptoms, when they do occur, can include the following:

  • Early morning headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Vision changes
  • Buzzing in the ears

Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain and muscle tremors, but you can only be truly sure once you are assessed by a health professional.

Bestmed recently hosted a Tempo Talk where hypertension was discussed in detail and you can watch it here. Hypertension is covered as a Chronic Disease List (CDL) condition on all Bestmed options. Click here for more info.

There are people who recover fully after having a stroke, however, many are left with lasting disabilities, which not only affect them but their loved ones as well. In 2017, Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo, announced that stroke is the leading cause of disability in South Africa. Very often, people who experience a severe stroke require some palliative care, which is multidisciplinary medical care that supports those with life-threatening conditions. This specialised care aims to optimise a patient’s quality of life, as well as support their family members at every stage.

Bestmed Medical Scheme offers palliative care and home-based care in lieu of hospitalisation across all benefit options at a 100% Scheme tariff subject to pre-authorisation. The benefit is limited to a specified amount per beneficiary per annum as per a member’s benefit option. It is also subject to available benefits and treatment plans.


Disease burden of stroke in rural South Africa: an estimate of incidence, mortality and disability adjusted life years – National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4396076/

High blood pressure (hypertension) – Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410

Hypertension – World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension.

Incidence and Prevalence of Stroke a Growing Concern – Western Cape Government: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/incidence-and-prevalence-stroke-growing-concern-mbombo

Stroke – The Hearth and Stroke Foundation: https://www.heartfoundation.co.za/stroke/

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