Foreign experts provide training on Alzheimer’s, a disease few in Seychelles know about
The workshop is a collaboration between the Global Brain Health Institute, the Seychelles Alzheimer’s Foundation and the Ministry of Health (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A one-week workshop on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia kicked off on Monday as part of efforts to build up awareness and SeyDementia, a network for dementia in Seychelles.
The workshop, which is a collaboration between the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), the Seychelles Alzheimer’s Foundation (SAF) and the Ministry of Health, is the third in a series of programmes organised by the SAF, an NGO specialising in Alzheimer care.
Conducting the workshops is Professor Brian Lawlor, the deputy co-director at GBHI, Cynthiua Feaster Barton, nurse practitioner and Natasha Boissier, social worker.
|The workshop is being conducted by Professor Brian Lawlor, the deputy co-director at GBHI, Cynthiua Feaster Barton, nurse practitioner and Natasha Boissier, social worker. (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Subjects to be covered include dementia assessment and management, symptoms and pharmaceutical management of dementia, strategies for managing difficult behaviours and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
“We want to help build up SeyDementia, which is the network for dementia in Seychelles,” said Professor Lawlor.
“There is a very significant lack of awareness not just in Seychelles but around the world. Many people are confused about what Alzheimer’s is, and most of the time health care professionals have a very terminal view of the disease. We need to change the whole attitude towards dementia,” the professor added.
Speaking to the press, the president of the SAF Lise Church said, “We believe that the home for the elderly at North East Point is ideal for caring for patients with Alzheimer’s for the time being. We have asked the Ministry of Health to designate two wings of the home to Alzheimer patients and we are waiting for an answer.”
|Professor Lawlor said that he wants to help build up SeyDementia, which is the network for dementia in Seychelles.(Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Church explained that prior to last year, Alzheimer’s disease was relatively unknown amongst the masses in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
She added that she was asked by the Ministry of Health to bring an expert in the country to determine whether the disease existed in Seychelles.
“The expert came last year and during his three day stay he conducted lectures, visited the North East Point home for the elderly, talked to the patients and thereafter in his final reports he determined that 50 percent of those patients were suffering from Alzheimer’s,” said Church.
Meanwhile, the deputy chief executive from the Health Care Agency Danny Louange has given the Ministry’s commitment towards the cause.
“In line with the government strategy, the aim of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs is to strengthen the services for people with dementia in Seychelles,” said Louange.
He also said that it was estimated that 95 percent of people living with dementia in the low and middle income countries are cared for at home, with minimal or no support, with Seychelles not being spared to some extent.
“The purpose of the visit by the three experts is to train the trainers, who will in turn educate our people who will in spread their skills and knowledge to others,” Louange said.