Demensia Brunei (DB) will be organising the World Alzheimer’s Month Memory Walk at the Health Promotion Centre on September 22, to promote more awareness on Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia.
DB will be also selling T-shirts to raise funds for their Dementia Care Skills workshops among the local community. The t-shirts are available in yellow and cyan, with the message ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia: End the Stigma’.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, which is an annual international campaign to challenge the stigma surrounding dementia. Each year, associations from around the world unite to organise advocacy and information-providing events, as well as Memory Walks and fundraisers.
The impact of this campaign is growing, but the stigmatisation and misinformation that surrounds dementia remains a global issue.
World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated on September 21 each year, while World Alzheimer’s Month is coordinated by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), the umbrella organisation of Alzheimer associations around the world. There are 100 ADI-member countries, as of July 2019.
The movement is felt at both the national and global level. Each year, more and more countries are participating in World Alzheimer’s Month events and in many areas, dementia awareness is growing. September is a time for action, a global movement united by its call for change, but it is also a time to reflect on the impact of dementia, a disease that will affect more and more people as the years pass.
In Brunei, vascular dementia is the highest percentage compared to other forms of dementia due to non-communicable diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised the burden of the epidemic by introducing a global action plan on the public health response to dementia, for 2017-2025.
One of the five key action areas is dementia research and innovation. Other areas such as risk reduction and diagnosis, treatment and care are also highly related to dementia research. Governments will have the opportunity and a mutual responsibility to dramatically increase awareness, detection and diagnosis of dementia, by meeting the targets of the World Health Organization’s global action plan on dementia.
This year’s theme challenges the stigma that surrounds dementia. A lack of knowledge on the subject leads to inaccurate assumptions about its effects, as well as negative stereotypes about people with dementia.