Alzheimer’s Dementia Namibia Update
Written by Berrie Holtzhausen 13th August 2014
Susanne, a Berlin student doing her doctorate, landed yesterday here in sunny Windhoek. We immediately started to work and I took her to MDH the basis for the following newspapers; Die Republikein, Algeine Zeitung and the Namibian Sun. Here we dug through their archives looking for articles on witchery, casting of spells and of course, dementia.
After that we departed to the offices of the NGK (Dutch Reformed Church) where I was invited to attend their AGM on ECSOS – their funding for evangelism and charities. I was asked to relate the story of Alzheimer’s Dementia Namibia. The response was incredibly positive and we hope that a door will open for ADN in the future.
From there we went to see a white Afrikaans speaking student nurse and a Damara speaking student nurse of UNAM. (University of Namibia). We received a lot of valuable information from these two students like that when an animal like a frog or bat is seen out of season (a frog outside the wet season or a bat that flies during the day), it is a witch and should be killed or burnt – of which burning is the preferred option.
We also received confirmation from these two students, that the symptoms of dementia and that of witchery is exactly the same. These two students have to do their practical’s in their fourth year of study (next year) and we (ADN) invited them to come to Yakandongo as one of the subjects of the fourth year is mental health. All I had to do was to bring this under the attention of their deacon.
Now we are headed for our appointed with the management of nursery at the medical department of UNAM. If they give us a green light, we might be able to speak to all the lecturers later in the day. Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of the Dementia Academy? Not? Well maybe then the start of a new chapter in ADN, and a hope for the people with dementia that has to live as if a spell has been cast upon them.