2014: The Year in Review (4)
2014 was also a year of new beginnings and new projects. Like the first dementia friendly shop in Henties Bay.
In 2014 we also started with intense research on dementia in Africa.
There was the research trip to the Zambezi district with Susanne. On this trip a very important connection was formed with the University of Namibia that will hopefully lead to a new course for nurses in 2016.
During our research trip we discovered that HIV/Aids is possibly a bigger cause of dementia in Africa than Alzheimer’s Disease. We also discovered that a lot of HIV/Aids patients stop using their medicine because the pills give them stomach problems due to the fact that they cannot afford a plate of food per day. And secondly, Susanne and I came to the conclusion that the pills are sold in order to buy food.
We met Leopoldine in the Kavango region who possibly has HIV/Aids related Dementia. Her family sees her as a witch because of her hallucinations and other strange behaviour. They believe that Leopoldine must starve to death so that the evil spirits in her can also die. Needless to say, she has no food and therefore cannot take her medicine. Alzheimer’s Dementia Namibia has thus organised that she receives at least one plate of food per day to enable her to take her medicine.
At the end of our research trip we stopped at Okahandja’s Craft market so that Susanne could buy a few souvenirs. Here we met Black Jack and Chief Petrus who opened the market 35 years ago. But this is a story on its own.
Until next time…