05.06. What factors predominantly affect perceptions about dementia? | Kenya

05.06. What factors predominantly affect perceptions about dementia? | Kenya

01 Apr 2022

Some of the factors that affect the perception of dementia at all levels include (Musyimi et al., 2019; Musyimi et al., 2021; Njoki, 2018);

  • Lack of awareness and understanding of dementia– This is as a result of the ignorance about the disease and the lack of a definitive term for dementia in Kenyan culture.
  • Lack of diagnosis or misdiagnosis– Since most physicians easily misdiagnose dementia as either depression, old age illness, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, they end up with a misdiagnosis and without support for the underlying condition (dementia).
  • Stigma– Assumed dementia to be witchcraft, curse from God, mental illness, part of aging. Abandonment and isolation of people with dementia and their carers.
  • No government policies, legislations and services– Kenya does not have any laws and legislations concerning dementia, making it difficult to create awareness to the general public.
  • Lack of statistics and data on number of people affected by dementia– To enable lobbying the government for positive changes.

Musyimi, C. W., Ndetei, D. M., Evans-Lacko, S., Oliveira, D., Mutunga, E., & Farina, N. (2021). Perceptions and experiences of dementia and its care in rural Kenya. Dementiahttps://doi.org/10.1177/14713012211014800

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