In cognisance of the social and economic burdens of Dementia, the Mayor of Amajuba District Municipality, Cllr. uMntwana Ndabuko Zulu led a pioneering initiative to advocate for the improvement of the healthcare and social support services for those living with dementia.
The consolidated efforts with the Bessie Makathini Foundation (BMF), Amajuba District Municipality led to the first of it’s kind lifelong brain health intervention Mwithin the region hosted today, 26 September 2023 at the Osizweni Community Hall.
The outreach programme with a particular emphasis on dementia sought to underscore the pivotal role communities play in creating a culture that is more understanding of and responsive to dementia related behaviours.
Under the theme, “ In Unity for Dementia” the programme focused on a variety of dementia-related topics, including research, medical treatment, and the necessity of community support in eradicating the disease's stigma.
The programme featured educational presentations by professionals in the medical field, international advocates for dementia and various sector departments such as the Department of Health and the Department of Social Development.
Dr.Khanyo Ngcobo, highlighted the rising trend of incidences related to Alzheimer’s Disease, which is the most common form of dementia. She further characterised the condition as one that involves a progressive loss of intellectual functioning, particularly with memory impairment, shifts in personality, and abstract thinking.
Although the disease is not a preventable one or with a cure, Dr.Ngcobo further alluded that healthy lifestyle habits may help reduce the prevalence of the disease or delay the onset of impairment to some extent as conditions such as hypertension and diabetes are some risk factors to dementia.
In his Keynote Address, the Honourable Mayor, Cllr. uMntwana Ndabuko Zulu noted the paramount importance of intensifying efforts towards raising awareness on Dementia, as it is one that lags behind other diseases and often mistaken for witchcraft.
“ It is of great importance that we enhance awareness about dementia diagnosis and treatment options to individuals with dementia, their families, and care givers. Unfortunately through lack of knowledge, our society rejects individuals living with dementia by associating their dementia-related behaviour with witchcraft practices.” Remarked uMntwana Ndabuko Zulu.
As part of enhancing care practices for caregivers to those living with dementia, the Mayor further announced that Amajuba District Municipality in partnership with BMF will host a training session for Community Care Givers (CCG’s) on Thursday, 28 September 2023 at the Amajuba District Municipality Council Chamber.
Members of the community with a keen interest on issues in relation to dementia are welcomed to attend the training sessions to further gain in-depth knowledge in addition to skills on how to further care for people living with dementia or related disorders.
Issued by the
Amajuba District Municipality
Communications Unit