Mains Paper: 2 | Health
Prelims level: WHO
Mains level: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
• The rapid increase in ageing population across countries requires national strategies .
• Data from many parts of the world reveals age as a risk factor for dementia .
• Dementia affects memory and significantly interferes with a person’s ability to perform daily activities.
• According to the WHO, it affects 50 million people worldwide; a number that is projected to increase to 82 million by 2030 and 152 million by 2050.
• According to some estimates, one person gets affected by dementia every three seconds.
• Studies have revealed how the stigma attached to the disease leads to the social isolation of patients, their families and careers.
• Research has thrown light on the deterioration in the quality of their lives.
• There is an urgent need to treat dementia as a public health concern by raising awareness on all aspects of the disease including risk reduction, diagnosis, treatment, research, care and support for patients and care givers.
• Several of the needs of such affected people — social, economic or those related to health remain unfulfilled.
• For instance, leave concessions at work, adaptable housing environments, adequate diagnostic facilities, treatment options, care provisions and risk reduction measures.
• Many require psychological support, biomedical facilities, appropriate medications, counselling services and end of life care.
• Over a year ago, the World Health Assembly in Geneva adopted the Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017- 2025.
• India endorsed the plan, confirming its commitment to improving the lives of people with dementia, their carers and families.
• Such a plan should incorporate public awareness campaigns and research.
• As the percentage of aged people in the country increases must become a national priority.
• These programmes could be aligned with existing policies and care models.