LAHORE - Alzheimer’s Pakistan unveiled The World Alzheimer Report 2016: Improving healthcare for people living with dementia, calls for concerted action to increase the coverage of healthcare for people with dementia worldwide at a press conference at Lahore Press Club yesterday.

The event was arranged as part of World Alzheimer’s Day to be marked today.

The report authored by researchers at King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), reveals that most people with dementia have yet to receive a diagnosis, let alone comprehensive and continuing healthcare.

Dementia affects 47 million people worldwide. Currently, only around half of those in high income countries, and one in ten or less in low and middle income countries have received a diagnosis. In Pakistan, it is estimated that there are around one million Dementia patients, the big majority of which is undiagnosed.

Expanding coverage of services for increasing numbers of people with dementia can only be achieved - and a crisis averted - by boosting capacity, and the efficiency with which care is delivered.

The report highlights that dementia care being provided mainly by specialist doctors is a key barrier to progress. Greater involvement of non-specialist primary care staff can unlock capacity to meet increasing demand for dementia care, and could make the cost of care per person up to 40 percent cheaper.

Primary care services will need to be strengthened and supported to take on this role, through specialists providing guidance and support.

“The goal of both improving rates of diagnosis and making the health system more efficient was critically important to the report, including a clear recommendation that we monitor the outcomes of dementia care so that people with dementia and their care partners can be better informed about the quality of care available,” said Dr Yasmin Raashid, Patron of Alzheimer’s Pakistan, while addressing the press conference.

Zia Rizvi, president of Alzheimer’s Pakistan said: “This landmark report highlights the need to redesign and repurpose dementia care services for the challenges of the 21st Century.”

Dr Hussain Jafri, secretary general of Alzheimer’s Pakistan, announced that the month of September is celebrated as World Alzheimer’s Month (WAM) throughout the world. Alzheimer’s Pakistan is also celebrating this day by organising a number of events during September 2015 to create awareness about Alzheimer’s and related Dementias.

One of the key events being organised by Alzheimer’s Pakistan is a Grand Quiz amongst Medical Colleges titled “healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of dementia”.

A total of 13 medical colleges from all over the country are participating in the Grand Quiz. Alzheimer’s Pakistan announced the Finale of Grand Quiz will be held on September 29, 2016 in Lahore.