Fiona Ruzha, H-Metro Reporter
ZIMBABWE will tomorrow join the rest of the world in commemorating the World Alzheimer’s Day by conducting a Memory Walk which is aimed at raising dementia awareness in our communities.
Participants will start from Catholic Cathedral along Simon Muzenda Street then walk through Jason Moyo Avenue before they gather at Africa Unity Square where there will be doctors at hand to offer free education on dementia among other activities.
Annually on September 21, the world commemorates World Alzheimer’s Day, an international campaign aimed at raising awareness and challenging the stigma that surrounds dementia.
This year marks the 8th World Alzheimer’s Day as the campaign was launched in 2012.
Dementia is a syndrome that affects memory, other cognitive abilities and behavior that interfere significantly with a person’s ability to maintain their activities of daily living.
Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, it is not a normal part of ageing. Alzheimer´s disease is the most common form of dementia.
This year Zimbabwe Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Association is expecting 200 people to attend.
“The impact of World Alzheimer’s Month is growing, but the stigmatisation and misinformation that surrounds dementia remains a global problem, that requires global action.
“But we hope to target 200 people at this year’s commemoration,” said the organisation in a statement.
A senior doctor at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals said they want to spread the message that dementia is any other disease and to people must not stigmatise.
“We will also take the time to tell the public that dementia is not mental illness and it is like any other disease which people must learn to offer help to those living with it,” said the doctor who preferred anonymity.
Dementia affects 50 million people worldwide — a number that will almost triple by 2050. More than half of all people with dementia live in low and middle income countries, where as few as 10 percent of individuals receive a diagnosis. In 2028 dementia will become a trillion-dollar disease.