On the occasion of World Alzheimer's Day which takes place on September 21, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched an awareness campaign under the theme “Alzheimer's ...... More Than Just Forgetfulness”.
The campaign aims at promoting and raising health awareness about the disease and educating patients and the community of the importance of early diagnosis and the development of medical practices in the field of Alzheimer's disease to achieve social and psychological empowerment.
The campaign featured number of activities and social events included an educational workshop that was held at Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital in Dubai and the sponsorship of Lundbeck. The workshop that was presented by the visiting consultants, Dr. Hamad Al-Sinaawi - Consultant Psychiatrist for the Elderly and Dr. Tariq Qasem, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Al Amal Hospital for Mental Health was addressed to the medical staff including doctors, nurses, psychologists and service provides from in and outside the Ministry. With 120 attendees, it focused on the community's view of the disease and how to deal with it, the role of exercise and physical activity in Alzheimer's disease, and strategies to adapt to behavioral disorders in patients.
The campaign also featured number of other activities, including a bus tour from Al-Amal Hospital to the Head Office of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, to spread awareness among people on the importance of mental health and family cohesion and the support for Alzheimer's patients, then the tour continued to a number of Elderly houses in the Emirates of Sharjah and Ajman, during which the dissemination of awareness materials to the elders their parents and the service providers, Dr. Tariq Qasem, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist - Elderly Psychiatrists, from Mudsley Health, presented a workshop for physicians and service providers, he spoke to the elderlies at the House in Sharjah, and there were significant interactions from the elderlies and good participation in the awareness seminar.
the National Policy for the Promotion of Mental Health
H.E. Dr. Youssif Al Serkal, Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry’s Hospitals Sector, highlighted the importance of organizing awareness campaigns to draw the attention of the community to the significance of early diagnosis, in addition to training the families of the Alzheimer's patients on how to deal with them, and start treatment necessary to alleviate the burden of this disease.
Al Serkal stressed MoHAP’s keenness to provide therapeutic and psychological services for people with Alzheimer's disease, especially for the elderly over 65 years because it is the most vulnerable group, through specialized clinics, in addition to providing a supportive and stimulating environment for patients.
He also shed light on the National Policy for the Promotion of Mental Health that aims to expand the scope of comprehensive, integrated and community-based mental health services, as well as to achieve the social, psychological and professional empowerment of the psychiatric patient, and to provide world-class services.
The Ministry's efforts in the rehabilitation and integration of psychiatric patients
Dr. Mona Al Kuwari, Head of Specialized Health Care Dept shed light on MoHAP’s efforts in preparing a comprehensive national statistical database, developing scientific researches and studies, and establishing community mental health services, including awareness-raising services, emergency care, home support, and community rehabilitation.
According to Dr. Adel Karani, Director of Al-Amal Hospital for Mental Health that Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, and it increases with age, this is due to the accumulation of some substances in the brain, which causes damage to brain cells in areas responsible for short-term memory, the effect appears gradually.