Nigerian serves on the World Dementia Council
Nigerian Chief Kikelomo Laniyonu Edwards has been elected as a Full Member of the World Dementia Council at a meeting in London where the Council was re-formed to include representation from all over the world.
An excited Kiki (as her friends fondly refer to her) promises to use her 3-year tenure to ensure Nigeria and other African countries continue to work towards reducing the stigma, contributing effort into finding a cure, and developing a dementia strategy to care for people with living with Dementia.
The creation of a World Dementia Council was one of the main commitments made at the G8 Dementia Summit in December 2013.The new Council brings together the broadest range of influential global leaders with expertise and experience in dementia from all sectors, enabling in a bid to challenge and support Governments, industry, NGOs, public sector, academia, the research community and people with dementia worldwide in a concerted effort to address the world’s biggest disease burden.
Care of people with dementia varies hugely across the world, and many experience stigma and social isolation – 40% say that they have been avoided or treated differently. Dementia is sometimes perceived as a normal sign of ageing, mental illness or even by certain cultures as having supernatural elements. People can also be victims of abuse, for example being beaten for being ‘stubborn’, restrained regularly, both physically and by use of antipsychotic drugs, and cast out from their communities.
WDC Chair, Dr. Yves Joanette, said: “The world has to face up to the staggering personal and economic impact of the biggest disease challenge that we face today. I’m delighted to welcome the new international members of our re-formed Council. Together, we have to mount a truly global assault to change the lives for people with dementia and their caregivers, including the most neglected and isolated. We will do so by amplifying the voices of people with dementia, organisations and communities to reach all corners of the world. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues to challenge and support all Governments in addressing this issue.”
The English Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said: “I thank the World Dementia Council and Envoy for the remarkable progress they have made so far, setting us well on the way to achieve the aims we first established at the G8 Summit as part of the UK Presidency in 2013. While we are seeing progress in drug development and greater understanding of this disease, there can be no cause for complacency and I look to the World Dementia Council to use their expertise and global reach to drive governments, industry and regulators to further action”.