Dementia in Ghana – a public health concern silently ignored?

Illustrative use only - from Alzheimers UK

Dementia is a condition that is characterized by a decline in cognitive function. It is a global public health concern, with an estimated 47.5 million people affected worldwide.

In Ghana, the prevalence of dementia is not well known, but it is thought to be a growing problem.

There are many risk factors for dementia, including age, hypertension, and diabetes.

Risk Factors for Dementia in Ghana

There are many risk factors for dementia, including age, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking.

  • Age is the strongest risk factor for dementia; the prevalence doubles every 5 years after the age of 65.
  • Hypertension is another major risk factor for dementia; it is thought to contribute to small vessel disease in the brain, which can lead to cognitive decline.
Studies have shown that people with diabetes have a 65% higher risk of developing dementia than those without diabetes.
Studies have shown that people with diabetes have a 65% higher risk of developing dementia than those without diabetes.
  • Diabetes is also a risk factor for dementia; studies have shown that people with diabetes have a 65% higher risk of developing dementia than those without diabetes.
  • Smoking is also a risk factor for dementia; smokers are more likely to develop vascular dementia than non-smokers.

The Impact of Dementia in Ghana

Dementia can have a profound impact on the individual, their family, and the community. Individuals with dementia can experience decline in cognitive function, as well as physical and mental health problems.

This can lead to a loss of independence and social isolation. Family members often have to take on extra caregiving responsibilities when someone they love has dementia. This can be emotionally and financially draining. Communities can also be affected by increased burden on healthcare services and a decline in productivity levels.

Dementia can have a profound impact on the individual, their family, and the community. Early diagnosis and management of dementia is crucial to preventing further decline and maximising quality of life.

READ ALSO:  Dementia in Ghana - A hidden crisis?