World Dementia Day commemorated

Awareness needed

22 September 2020 | Health

Esther Muinangue; Deputy minister of health; “It is important to collaborate and navigate a path of creating more awareness and education about dementia.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

World Dementia Day with “Let’s talk about dementia” as theme, was observed at the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Namibia (ADN) facility situated on the outskirts of Swakopmund over the weekend.

An estiamted 8 000 people in Namibia live with dementia.

Deputy minister of health and social services, Esther Muinjangue, who was the guest of honour at the occasion, said that there is still a lack of knowledge and information about the condition.

“Many people with dementia in Namibia are considered cursed or possessed. It is important to collaborate and navigate a path of creating more awareness and education about dementia,” she said, expressing her appreciation for the good work done by ADN.

ADN was founded after Berry Holtzhausen, the founding member of The Michelle Group, discovered that Namibia lacked a facility to care for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. The Michelle Group was founded in January 2009 after a car accident involving a 16-year-old girl (Michelle) and a drunk driver. Michelle had a heart for old people and outsiders. It was decided to create a fund in her honour and in support of the people she loved and cared for.

The entire month of September was declared Alzeimer’s Month in 2012, with 21 September being celebrated as World Dementia Day around the world.

This is an international campaign aimed at raising awareness and challenging stigma and discrimination associated with dementia – an umbrella term for several diseases affecting memory as well as other cognitive abilities and behaviour that interfere significanltly with people’s ability to manage their daily activities.

Dementia is defined as a progressive and permanenent damage of the brain, caused by nearly 100 different diseases, with Alzheimer’s being the most common form thereof.
People who suffer from dementia show signs of memory loss, personality changes and impaired reasoning.

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