World Stroke Organization
©World Stroke Organization

World Stroke Organization

For a world free from stroke

The World Stroke Organization (WSO) is the only global body with a sole focus on stroke. Through our evidence-based advocacy, education and good practice programmes we aim to prevent stroke and to reduce stroke related deaths and disabilities worldwide.

NCDA supporter & full member

About the World Stroke Organization

Fourteen million people worldwide die from stroke each year and over 50m survivors will live with permanent disability. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stroke is the second leading cause of death for people above the age of 60 years, and the fifth leading cause in people aged 15 to 59. Stroke is also the principal cause of long-term disability irrespective of age, sex, ethnicity or country and was responsible for 116 million years of life lived with disability in 2016.

While 1 in 4 people globally will experience a stroke in their lifetime, the burden of stroke disproportionately affects individuals in low to middle-income countries where prevalence of risk factors continues to rise, and where there are significant barriers to access to effective prevention and acute treatments.

WSO works with our member organizations and partners to ensure coordinated, targeted and sustained action to address prevention and to improve access to evidence-based treatment and quality clinical care for stroke patients nationally, regionally and globally.

WSO has a membership of over 80 scientific and stroke support organizations around the world. We represent over 50,000 stroke experts and many more patients and caregivers worldwide and work with them to develop and deliver our advocacy, education and good practice programmes.

WSO's main activities

To help us achieve our vision, the WSO works to:

  • Contribute stroke knowledge and expertise to global, regional and national NCD prevention and health service development. As well as being a partner of the NCD Alliance, WSO is ECOSOC accredited providing a strong voice for our members and is a WHO implementing partner.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the global stroke community through the provision of a range of accessible clinical education programmes and the development of guidelines to inform the delivery of quality stroke services. WSO also provides support and tools to develop and strengthen the capacity of stroke survivors and caregivers to develop peer to peer support and to engage in local and global advocacy.
  • Build public awareness on stroke so that people can take action to prevent, recognise and respond quickly to stroke. Our World Stroke Campaign supports coordinated action by our members and partners to raise awareness of stroke in the NCD agenda and to highlight key issues in stroke prevention, treatment and support.


Rue François Versonnex 7
Geneva 1207