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November 27, 2023
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10 Million people diagnosed with dementia, experts say as NGO fights disease in Ogun

Health experts have expressed concern over the rise in dementia cases worldwide, stating that approximately 10 million people are diagnosed with the age-related illness each year.

This was disclosed at the 2023 Alake Cares held in the Ake palace, Abeokuta, Ogun state. 

The year’s outreach organized by Wellness Africa Foundation (WAF) in collaboration with MOPCARE Seniors Foundation, themed “Graceful Ageing” was in commemoration of the 18th coronation anniversary of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.

Dementia is a loss of memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. 

In an effort to lower the state’s dementia risk, WAF conducted medical check-ups and held health talk for those between the ages of 50 and 80. 

Speaking to reporters at the ceremony, Dr. Omotola Akinmolayan, the Programme Director for WAF, stated that dementia has no known cure, despite its negative impacts. 

She stressed the need of healthy eating, exercise, social interaction, mental stimulation, and other lifestyle practises in her speech on “Healthy Ageing” as ways to fend off sickness and advance general wellness as people age.

“Ageing is inevitable, we must age and because of this, there are some things that will come with ageing but having a lifestyle of good nutrition, good social relationships, and mental stimulation, have been confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help people age gracefully with fewer side effects that may come with ageing, one of which is dementia.

Guest speaker at the event, Dr. Ogundele Folake, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, stated that 20 percent of people who are 80 years and above suffer from dementia. 

“Dementia is one of the top ten diseases that affect the elderly. The challenge is that it doesn’t even have a medication to cure it. It can only reduce the progression of it. A high number of people are being diagnosed,” she added.  

She said “The rate increases as the ages increase. 20 percent of people who are 80 years and above suffer from dementia. It’s a costly disease using any parameter in terms of life lost, mobility, contribution to society, and care. Every four seconds, we have 10 persons being diagnosed while over 10 million are diagnosed every year. There is no major drug to cure it or prevent it. The preventive measures are not well recognized too.”

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