World Alzheimer’s Day
Average age in Pakistan is increasing
which also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s
disease – Prof. Muhammad Wasay
Lack of physical and mental activities are among the
few major reasons of this disease- Prof. Ejaz Vohra
KARACHI: With the growing population of elderly people in Pakistan the Alzheimer’s disease is also increasing to an alarming level with around two million Pakistanis suffering from the preventable ailment but lack of awareness is complicating the situation. This was stated by Professor Muhammad Wasay, President, Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation, while speaking at a press briefing held in connection with the World Alzheimer’s Day at a local hotel here on 28th September 2017.
Continuing Dr. wasay said that Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior changes and the disease is rapidly spreading globally as in every three seconds a person fall victims of Alzheimer’s disease. The cost to combat this disease globally has increased to $818 billion. The people at the age of over 65 years are affected by 7 percent while those over the age of 75 are likely to be affected by 10-15 percent. If the disease is not timely treated it become incurable. This disease is linked with the old age and contrary to perception it can be prevented through remedial measures. The average age in Pakistan is increasing which also increase the risk of diseases related to the old age.
Professor Ejaz Ahmad Vohra from Ziauddin University speaking at the occasion called for creating awareness about the ailment and its consequences. Lack of physical and mental activities are among the few major reasons of this diseases. Looking after the patient with care is must for slowing down the progress of the ailment among people suffering which could also reduce the risk by almost 35 percent. Socialization Prof. Ejaz Vohra pointed out is very important and family system is also going off from the society. Government and society should play their role because this problem cannot be solved individually. Dr Yahya Amir, Consultant Psychiatrist, from Liyari General Hospital, called for the creation of awareness among the general physicians as mostly they treat the patient in early stages. He also stressed for changing the behavioral pattern to avoid such diseases.
Professor Dr. Arif Herekar from Baqai Medical University stressed the need for awareness among masses and the doctors so that they could better deal with the patients. Whenever they feel that a person has changed his or her normal routine they should consult doctors. Cost of treatment has increased to 1.09 percent of the global GDP. The elderly population in China, India and South East Asia is growing which also put them at the risk. He informed that diagnose of the Alzheimer’s rate among middle to upper classes is 20-25 percent while among the poor segment of the society it stands at 90 percent.
Professor Hamid Shafqat opined that lack of physical activities, education, loss of sleep and lack of awareness are most common factors responsible for the Alzheimer’s disease. Eight hour sleep and 45 minute walk every day can prevent many diseases. luxurious life style is responsible for not only Alzheimer’s diseases but for many other including heart ailments, he added. Dr Sadaf Nasir from Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Karachi called for better care of elder family members especially by those who are care givers to deal with the ailment effectively.
Dr. Abdul Malik, General Secretary, Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation said that awareness must be created to ensure importance of healthy body and mind. The growing trend of mobile phone use among children is socially isolating them and has almost stopped physical activities which in turn is reducing mental activity. He stressed the need for creation of healthy society based on social and moral values. Elderly population of Pakistan stands around eight million which makes the country sixth largest in terms of aging population, he added.