05.04. Describe the cultural/societal perceptions of dementia | Kenya

05.04. Describe the cultural/societal perceptions of dementia | Kenya

01 Apr 2022

In Kenya, there is a lot of stigma surrounding dementia and many attribute symptoms of dementia to being cursed, bewitched, having annoyed the “gods” or failure to fulfil a certain obligation and as a result are being punished for their wrongdoings (Musyimi et al., 2019).

Other caregivers (particularly wives) are also seen as witches especially when the person with dementia is a spouse. This is very difficult for the families, as they are often cut off by their extended family, receive no support and suffer in silence (Njoki, 2018).


Musyimi, C., Mutunga, E., & Ndetei, D. (2019). Stigma and dementia care in Kenya: Strengthening Responses to Dementia in Developing Countries (STRiDE) Project. In World Alzheimer Report 2019: Attitudes to dementia (pp. 121–122). London, UK: Alzheimer’s Disease International. https://www.alzint.org/u/WorldAlzheimerReport2019.pdf

Njoki, M. (2018). Dementia in Africa: an exploration of Kenyan carers’ experiences supporting someone with dementia. https://dementia.stir.ac.uk/blogs/dementia-centred/2018-05-17/dementia-africa-exploration-kenyan-carers-experiences-supporting