Kenya joined the rest of the world in marking World Alzheimer’s day amid concern over the impact of COVID-19 disease on those suffering from dementia.
Speaking during the COVID-19 daily brief, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said the condition is a major cause of disability among older people and the fifth leading cause of death across the globe.
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted people with dementia with around a quarter of the virus deaths in certain countries being those of people with dementia. This is because they cannot remember containment measures that are critical in the fight against the virus.
In Kenya, there are over 3,000 confirmed cases of people who suffer from dementia with the country among the first countries in Africa to develop a National Dementia Action plan by working closely with the World Health Organization and other partners.
Kenya is among seven countries globally involved in the STRIDE PROJECT-Strengthening Response to Dementia in developing countries.
This project is a collaboration between the London School of Economics and Alzheimer’s disease International (ADI).
As part of the STRIDE Kenya team, the Ministry of Health is part of this project that consists of Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation (AMHRTF), Alzheimer and Dementia organization of Kenya.
Globally, there are 50 million people living with dementia with an economic burden of 1Trillion US dollars every year, a figure that is forecast to double in 2050.
Experts say 40 per cent of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed by targeting 12 risk factors throughout life.
World Alzheimer’s Month is an international campaign every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.