Makueni: 600 people diagnosed with dementia, residents urged to go for screening

Makueni residents have been encouraged to visit health centers to detect and diagnose dementia. Dementia is a mental health disorder that affects one’s ability to remember, think, and reason.

Speaking at Makueni Level Five Hospital on Thursday during the first phase of the exercise, Dr Christine Musyimi a lead researcher at Africa Mental Health Foundation revealed that many people in the villages who suffer from dementia associate the condition with some myths, urging them to perceive the disorder as a serious illness that needs medical intervention.

“There are misconceptions that dementia is caused by witchcraft, curse and it only affects the old people or it’s part of the ageing process and that’s what we are trying to tell people to get rid of”, she said.

Dr. Musyimi also outlined some factors and chronic diseases which cause one to forget easily.

“There are many risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, low cognitive levels, social isolation, and other mental conditions such as depression and many other chronic conditions”, Dr. Musyimi explained.

Africa Mental Health Training and Research Foundation (AMHRTRF) has partnered with the County’s health department to test and create awareness on dementia.

So far, 3500 people aged 60 years and above have undergone screening. Among them, 600 people equivalent to 18 percent have been diagnosed with the disorder.

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