Basseterre, St. Kitts, Tuesday January 24, 2023 (ZIZ News) —The Alzheimer’s Association of St. Kitts and Nevis is joining with all other Alzheimer’s Associations in the Caribbean, and Alzheimer’s disease International (ADI) in the “What’s your Plan Campaign” this week.
The Campaign is designed to encourage governments and communities to commit to the development of a National Dementia Plan, for their country. The plan should, in the long run, ensure the human rights of persons living with dementia and in so doing secure a better future for such persons and their caregivers.
President of the Alzheimer’s Association of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Joan Rawlins explained how the campaign came about.
“This complaint came about because way back in 2017,all the ministers of health of the Caribbean region agreed at a meeting with the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization and Alzheimer’s Disease International to develop an action plan which would make dementia highlighted, which would promote the issue of dementia because they see the need for it. We’re not alone in this. We know the various ministries of health have had challenges in the past few years. So although it was 2017 when they all agreed to have this plan done within two, three years, we know the challenges of the last couple of years with theCOVID-19 has really made it very difficult for the ministry. So we understand that. But we feel now it is time for us all to work together with the various ministries to ensure that we have this national dementia plan which we all need to have in order to have a better life for persons living with dementia.”
Dr. Joan Rawlins, President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Alzheimer’s Association
She spoke of the importance of having a National Dementia Plan
“We feel that if we’re to really make a dent on this situation, we have to do more. And this is why we ask in the various ministries of health and other related ministries of government to help us to make this plan so that we can take better care of our persons living with dementia. So that their human rights will be respected. So that they will not only have access to care, but they have greater support and that they’ll be included, that they won’t be excluded from things, that they will have care the same way that people with hypertension and diabetes have. We don’t think that this is what happens right now. So the plan, we hope, will improve the situation for persons living with dementia and their caregivers.”
Dr. Rawlins said the Campaign which is being sponsored by Alzheimer’s disease International will be mainly on social media.
“The campaign this week should help them to get a better understanding of what dementia is. They will hear from caregivers because of course caregivers are very important when we look at dementia. After a while, people dementia cannot care for themselves and they need caregivers. And these caregivers need a lot of support. So they’ll hear from caregivers, they’ll hear from other persons who know what caregivers need, and hopefully we will hear from other persons within the community who are not dementia suffering themselves or are not actually living with dementia. But they know and they see what goes on and they know what they think. They know what needs to be done.”
The weeklong campaign runs from Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th January.
Information that forms part of the ‘What’s Your Plan’ campaign can be found on the Alzheimer’s Association of St. Kitts and Nevis Facebook page.