Alzheimer's Pakistan, in conjunction with Government College University (GCU), conducted a Seminar on Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia at the Bukhari Auditorium of GCU to honour World Alzheimer's Day.
This year's World Alzheimer's Day theme is 'Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer's,' which focuses on dementia diagnosis, dementia warning signs, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the worldwide dementia community, and more.
Dementia refers to a group of progressive, degenerative brain diseases that impact memory, cognition, behaviour, and emotion. Brain chemistry is altered, and cells, neurons, and neurotransmitters are damaged.
The brain eventually shrinks as gaps emerge. Alzheimer's is the most prevalent cause of Dementia. Dr Asghar Zadi, VC of GCU, delivered the opening remarks at the event.
Dr Athar Javid provided an overview of Dementia and emphasised that the number of people living with Dementia (PWD) is projected to nearly double every 20 years, reaching 152 million by 2050 if effective risk-reduction strategies are not implemented globally.
According to Dr Ali Hashmi, Dementia primarily affects adults over the age of 65.
The rapid increase in the number of people with Dementia indicates that the world is rapidly ageing, resulting in massive global effects of Dementia on societies worldwide.
Prof. Dr Asghar Zaidi presented the 'Understanding, Beliefs, and Treatment of Dementia in Pakistan' report of an international qualitative study performed in Pakistan.
"Dementia is a global health issue, but progress toward its understanding and treatment in low- and middle-income nations has been modest, despite rapidly ageing populations," he stated.
We believe this analysis will enlighten policymakers in Pakistan and throughout South Asia, thereby enhancing the lives of those with the condition and their caretakers.
Dr Zaidi announced the formation of the GC Dementia Society, which will aim to raise public awareness. Additionally, the society will host monthly respite meetings and training sessions for dementia carers. In addition, the students of the GC Dramatic Society performed a short play about Alzheimer's disease.
Dr Hussain Jafri, secretary general of Alzheimer's Pakistan, stated that there are approximately 400,000 PWD in Pakistan, and this number will climb to 1.4 million by 2025. However, the government does not provide any services.
The rise in the number of people with disabilities in Pakistan is frightening. It is time to commence the much-needed healthcare services for the elderly, including those with disabilities, in the province.
He reported that the Punjab government is currently working towards launching a comprehensive Dementia plan for the province, through which a variety of services will be provided, including hospital-based memory clinics, resource mobilisation for early diagnosis and treatment, counselling services for caregivers, and public awareness. The seminar concluded with Mr Zia Haider Rizvi's vote of thanks.
At the conclusion of the seminar, a significant number of students and individuals from all walks of life participated in an awareness walk.