Around 71 million people in the Asia Pacific region will suffer from dementia by 2050 and India is expected to top the list with over 12 million likely victims of the malady will be second only to China, said a study.
The study titled “Dementia in the Asia Pacific Region” by Alzheimer’s Disease International(ADI) stated that dementia will present an overwhelming financial and human burden on healthcare systems of the nations.
“Limited awareness of dementia, assumption that dementia is a natural part of ageing and not result of a disease, inadequate human and financial resources to meet the care needs of dementia patients and limited government policies on the disease and lack of training for professional and family carers are the reason dementia has seen a unprecedented three-fold rise,” says the study report.
The report was launched at the conference organised by Alzheimer’s and Related Disorder Society of India(ARDSI) in collaboration with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.
The report has recommended respective governments to recognise the imperative needs for increased awareness, education and research in dementia.
As per the report the cost associated with dementia in the Asia Pacific Region currently stands at $185 million of which 70 percent is borne by advanced economies, which only account for 18 percent of the regional prevalence of the disease.
Some of the recommendations the Alzheimer’s Diseases International has made to the nations in the Asia Pacific Region are regarding education and awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, improving the quality of life of people living with dementia by providing education to family members, paid careers to ensure that the best quality of care is delivered to people living with dementia.
The nations in the concerned region have also been urged to develop a national dementia action plan detailing key areas for action, including research, awareness and education.
“There is a need to engage community groups and NGOs to spread awareness about dementia, its risk factors, importance of early diagnosis and steps to better manage the disease. The government should develop comprehensive plans and policies in consultation with all the stake-holders to reduce the risk factors,” Meera Pattabiraman, Chairperson, ARDSI, told reporters.
“The governments need to play a very pro-active role in tackling the situation related to dementia,” said Jacob Roy, Chairman of Alzheimer’s Diseases International.