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THE IMPORTANCE OF ESTABLISHING ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATIONS IN THE ARAB COUNTRIES DIANE MANSOUR ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION LEBANON REGIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND RELATED DISORDERS IN THE MIDDLE EAST October 1-2, 2005 Istanbul, Turkey
“Given the number of families in every society who are affected by mental illness, it is amazing that there has not been an outcry to do more. Shame and fear have built walls of silence.” WHO - Annual report 2001
“The great majority of people with dementia are doubly excluded, those who care for people with dementia are also excluded. This need not happen.” Nori Graham- ADI
Alzheimer’s Disease International • Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) is the umbrella organization of Alzheimer associations around the world. • It aims to help establish and strengthen Alzheimer’s associations throughout the world, and to raise global awareness about Alzheimer's disease and all other causes of dementia. • “ADI has 69 member associations around the world but is under-represented in the Arab region” Henry Brodaty - ADI
State of the Art in the Arab Countries • The estimated number of people affected with dementia in the Arab countries is around 1.5 million. • We are in urgent need of public awareness concerning dementia. • We, have not been benefiting from worldwide expertise. • Our Nursing homes in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world are not Alzheimer’s oriented, neither in technology and equipment, nor in awareness of up-dated developments.
We can make a difference! • Centuries of prejudice, discrimination and stigma cannot be changed overnıght....The successful treatment and communıty management relies heavily on the involvement of social institutions and organizations. • “Successful community reintegration and the acceptance of mental illness as an inescapable fact of our social fabrics can only be achieved when communities take control and become masters of their own health structures, programmes services and organizational arrangements.” (Report on Mental Health – WHO 2001) • We aim at developpıng a regional and national plan to raise the level of awareness on Alzheimer’s disease in the Arab countries and reach out people wıth dementia, caregivers, specialists, doctors, nurses, specialized iınternatıonal agencies and governmental and non- governmental organizations. • This work needs to be carried in a specific cultural and social context and in a language which can reach beyond the educated elite. Arab civil society is in a process of rapid evolution, as are governments in response to long neglected issues. Alzheimer’s Lebanon, therefore sees the need for, and the opportunity of, promoting further Associations in the Arab speaking world
Alzheimer’s Associations in the Arab countries • Until 2003, Egypt was the only Arab country with established Alzheimer’s associations. • Lebanon became a full member of ADI in 2005! • Together, in collaboration with ADI, we are all contributing to the establishment of associations in Tunisia, Jordan, Syria, soon in S.Arabiaand hopefully Kuwait, Bahrain etc.....
Role of Associations • Change the attitude of the society regarding AD. • Support caregivers. • Change the attitude of General physicians and professional staff. • Enhance the quality of care in existing Nursing homes. • Introduce occupational therapy. • Encourage the establishment of day care services in existing Nursing homes
Alzheimer’s Association Lebanon • Website. • Hotline. • Media coverage. • Participation in International conferences for AD. • Celebrating World Alzheimer’s Day. • Caregivers Meetıngs. • Public meetings. • Display of a library. • Sensibilizing the public on AD - (Projection of movie IRIS) • Workshops for staff. • Network wıth Arab countries. • The Arab Conference on Alzheımer’s dısease 2005. • USAID grant. • Publication of an Arabic edition of “The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care” by Virgina Bell and David Troxell
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ARAB CONFERENCE ON ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE IN THE ARAB WORLD- 2005 • An Arab follow-up committee was formed to encourage civil and government organizations in the Arab World to establısh Alzheimer’s Associations. • Civil societies and government agencies would be established in all the Arab countries to give support and aid to those societies. • The Committeeis to provide support to Alzheimer's associations and coordinate among each other. • Arab associations and societies should be invited to establish electronic sitesand publish periodicals about dementia and Alzheimer's disease in the Arab World to include the latest social and scientific findings in the Arab World and the world at large about Alzheimer's disease and dementia. • Invite universities and specialized centers to conduct research and surveys about dementia and Alzheimer's in the Arab World and the services offered and the public and private institutions and specialists working in these fields. • A conference should be organized periodically in different Arab capitals. • Include the rights and needs of dementia patients in the Arab legislation as per the International proclamation of the UN about the rights of Alzheimer's patients to protect their dignity. • Presentations and press releases from the Conference can be referred to on www.alzlebanon.org