HMC to survey prevalence of dementia in Qatar

 24 Sep 2017 - 8:17

HMC to survey prevalence  of dementia in Qatar
Dr Mani Chandran, a Consultant Geriatric Psychiatrist at HMC, speaking during a public event.

BY Fazeena Saleem | The Peninsula 

In an new initiative to find the prevalence of dementia in the country as well to help early diagnosis of the disease, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) will soon start a community survey. 

In this regard an unified dementia guideline will be introduced across HMC hospitals, said Dr Mani Chandran (pictured), a Consultant Geriatric Psychiatrist at HMC. 

“We still don’t know the exact prevalence of dementia in Qatar. We have set up procedures in place to work on to the exact figure, we are due to start our community survey which will identify the prevalence. We are also looking at working with the other departments across HMC. That’s why we have initiated the hospital guideline called ‘HMC dementia guideline’ so there will be an uniformity of the diagnosis and communication so that we capture real data,” said Dr Chandran speaking on the sidelines of an interactive public event held to address the challenges faced by people in Qatar who suffer from various types of dementia, notably Alzheimer’s disease, and their caregivers.

The event was organized by World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) at Education City, in association with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Ministry of Public Health. 

It was held as September is World Alzheimer’s Month and international campaign organized to challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia and to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. This year marks the sixth Global World Alzheimer’s Month and the theme for 2017 is “Remember Me”, highlighting the importance of early detection and diagnosis of dementia.

Although accurate data on prevalence of dementia in Qatar, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), two percent of the Qatar population in 2010 was 60+, in 2050 this will be 20 percent. Qatar is ranked 41 in the world for the most deaths related to dementia per 100,000 cases. Also an estimate of 1000 dementia cases are prevalent in Qatar and it will be increased 49, 000 by 2050, according to a presentation by Dr Chandran. 

Presentations were also made by Dr Hanadi Al Hamad, Chair of Geriatrics and Long-term Care Department at HMC; experts from Ehsan, Center for Empowerment and Elderly Care; researchers from Qatar University.

Additionally, a moving personal testimony from a participant whose spouse suffers from Alzheimer’s disease was given. Many of those who spoke referred to the need for further focus on research and outreach programs.

The event ended on an encouraging note, with Dr Walid Qoronfleh, Director of Policy and Research at WISH, highlighting the positive collaborative work being undertaken by various stakeholders in Qatar and the efforts being made to engage with the community.

WISH is an initiative of Qatar Foundation. WISH’s latest report, titled ‘Enhancing the Response to the Burden and Impact of Dementia: Through Policy and Social Innovation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region’, can be accessed via its website: www.wish-qatar.org/wish-2016/forum-reports.