One in five people in Uganda aged 60 and over has Alzheimer’s or related forms of dementia. Prevalence studies show that the latest data from the World Health Organization are supported. Income countries.
According to the WHO Global Status Report on Public Health Response to Dementia 2021, there are 55 million people worldwide with dementia.
That number is projected to 78. increase millions by 2030 and 139 million by 2050, by which time an estimated 71 percent of new cases will occur in the low- and middle-income countries that all East African countries fall into.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that which the brain shrinks and brain cells die, slowly destroying memory and thinking skills and ultimately the ability to carry out activities of daily living; it is the most common form of dementia and can account for 60 to 70 percent of cases.
Experts say Alzheimer’s and dementia-related diseases have remained among the neglected diseases in Uganda, partly because of funding. < / p>
During a national symposium on quality mental health care in Uganda in 2019, experts said the government is devoting 9.8 percent of its gross domestic product, or $ 146 per person per person, to the sector. The experts added that less than one percent of this budget goes to mental health care, compared to 10 percent in many other countries.
According to Nathan Kakongi, a professor at the department of Biochemistry, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, the burden of care caused by dementia in sub-Saharan Africa doubles every 7.2 years, while in industrialized countries it doubles every 20 years.
The rising cases with dwindling funds saw private efforts being used to improve outreach, care and support for victims.
On September 25, the nonprofit Uganda Alzheimer’s Association held the country’s first memorial walk in support of Alzheimer’s victims , and in recognition of the increasing number of cases and the need for a national dementia strategy that addresses data gaps, diagnosis and patient care.
According to information of the CEO Dr. Paul Kiwanuka-Mukiibi was the association founded in 2017 by affected caregivers, healthcare professionals, people and supporters to raise awareness and help those affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
The walk took place just four days after World Salzheimer Day took place without the Ministry of Health marking the day or formulating a strategy to address the rising cases, the inadequate diagnosis and the funding plan.
The Ministry of Health did not immediately respond to our request for comment, but Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania rank first, second and third, with the highest death rate among people with Alzheimer’s.
According to a 2019 study by the WHO, the disease is still one of the top 10 deadliest diseases worldwide.
The study, published in December 2020, shows that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias worldwide a n are the seventh most common causes of death and almost two million people die every year.
In the East African Community Rwanda is the poorest with a death rate of 28.26 per 100,000 inhabitants. says the WHO.
Uganda and Tanzania lose 26.65 and 26.52 people respectively per 100,000 population, while South Sudan is 22.52 people and Burundi 23.21 dead.
Kenya is with. best rated the lowest mortality rate of 19.65 per 100,000 population, show WHO data for 2018.
The WHO study also found that Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia were 7th most common Causes of death are standing, adding that women are disproportionately affected.
Dr. Kiwanuka-Mukiibi said that in addition to poverty, other problems that deter diagnosis and treatment include stigma, discrimination, illiteracy and lack of access to health care, while a lack of awareness and understanding of the disease exacerbates stigma and barriers to diagnosis and care.