By Elsie Appiah-Osei/ Racheal Dwamena, GNA
Accra, Sept. 28, GNA - The third edition of the World Alzheimer's Day, has been marked in Accra with a call on politicians to face up to the disease and not ignore it as they have done over the years.
Mrs Esther Dey, the Executive Director of Alzheimer's Ghana, who made the call on Tuesday at a conference organised by the Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Association of Ghana (ARDAG) to mark the day said, over the years politicians had not done anything about the disease and were careful to talk about.
'Politicians are not doing anything about this disease, but this time around voters want it to be a political priority where effective policies will be made to help save the aged in this country,' she said.
Mrs Dey urged politicians, stakeholders and all interested parties to marshal resources that would collectively help kill the silent killer that affects majority of people in low income countries.
She noted that about 58 per cent of people living with Dementia are in low or middle income countries with more than 100,000 being in the country.
Dr Caroline Amissah, the Deputy Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, speaking on the theme: 'Remember Me,' said Alzheimer, which is a chronic disease forms about 60-80 per cent of Dementia with it exact causes not known.
She said Dementia which has loss of memory, hallucination, delusion, sleep disturbances as some of the symptoms causes victims to die three years when diagnosed of it.
'It causes are not known, but the condition is not reversible but progressive,' she said.
Dr Amissah said Dementia had become a big challenge globally but relatives understanding victims through encouragement, support and the management of the behaviours would help a lot.
She therefore called on the Ministry of Health to help find solutions to the problem as early treatment is paramount to the control of the disease.
Mr Banabas Kwame Yeboah, the Deputy Director of Nursing Services and National CHPS Coordinator, said the condition is irreversible, but takes a gradual process to develop in the individual.
'There is the need for everyone to come on board to help and support them,' he said.
Mr Yeboah noted that Ghana has an ageing policy and it is among its primary goals to establish health facilities throughout the country.
Dr Dennis Bortey, the President of ARDAG, explained that Dementia as a short condition that affects an individual, 'but the person can remember what happens in the past'.
He said victims normally lose their thoughts and behave like babies.
He said: 'It is commonly among individuals between the ages of 60-65 but everyone can be affected,' he said.
Dr Bortey observed that Dementia is caused by excessive smoking and intake of alcohol.
"This disease can be genetic and environmental as risk factors and it can be controlled through looking after the heart very well, checking of blood pressure all the time, eating good food and being physically active," he said.
World Alzheimer's Day, is marked on September 21 every year and it is a day on, which Alzheimer's organisations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer's and Dementia.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning.