WHO appeals for concerted actions to fight dementia

A global status report on the public response to dementia released by the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 55 million people over 65 years are living with the disease worldwide.

The report highlights the need to strengthen support for people with dementia in low and middle income countries so that they can be provided with care in both formal and informal settings.

Commenting on the report WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that dementia robs people of their memories, independence and dignity asides robbing us the people we know and love.

“The world is failing people with dementia and though governments made commitments to fight dementia four years ago, that alone is not enough, concerted actions are needed to ensure people with dementia are living with the support and dignity they deserve,” said Ghebreyesus.

Care required for people with dementia includes primary health care, specialist care, community-based services, rehabilitation, long-term care, and palliative care.

Most of these services are easily accessible in high income countries than in low and middle income countries.

On a positive note, the report has shown that countries in all regions have done well in implementing awareness campaigns to improve public awareness on dementia with strong leadership by the civil society.

Dementia is caused by a variety of diseases and injuries that affect the brain, such as stroke. It affects memory and other cognitive functions, as well as the ability to perform everyday tasks.

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