As ageing is the single most important risk factor for dementia, the largest numbers of persons with dementia are living in this region. Out of the estimated 36 million persons living with dementia worldwide, nearly 60% live in developing countries and this figure is likely to reach 70% by 2050.
The magnitude of dementia and its impact on the institutions of society is being recognised and realised in many of these countries only recently. With increase in life expectancy and the ageing population, the problems associated with dementia will also rise
So, while it is important to develop policies and strategies for action at national level, it is also important for countries to join hands to improve understanding and share expertise and experience.
The health systems in this region exhibit great diversity in their functioning. Only a handful of countries in this region are effectively addressing the issue of dementia with the governments recognising it as a public health issue with adequate allocation of financial and human resources. In most countries, there is little awareness on dementia, which is often assumed as a natural consequence of aging. The lack of awareness causes stigmatisation, dehumanisation, delayed diagnosis and adverse physical, economic and emotional consequence for the family and care givers.
This conference Emerging challenges of dementia in the Asia Pacific Region is being organised to bring together medical professionals, care providers, nursing and paramedical professionals; social and health organisations; and governmental agencies to deliberate on issues related to risk factors, preventive strategies, advocacy and policies for better facilities for diagnosis and care.
We extend a cordial invitation to all to attend the conference. We hope that we can collectively create a better environment for dementia care and bridge the gap between availability and need of resources for dementia care.