On the 10th September was another small 'step' for women but a huge leap for people living with dementia in Africa when Susanne Spittle from Berlin did a presentation on Dementia in Africa titled: "I lost my mind - am I a witch?' In this way, Ndjinaa was remembered when delegates from all over the … Continue reading Remember Me: Ndjinaa
Alzheimer's Dementia Namibia wants to publish the below letter for a number of reasons. No 1 - We need to get the message out there. No 2 - The struggle is so similar that it hurts. And that is enough reason for us to help Rosetti Care in Nigeria. Please take time to read the … Continue reading Attempts at creating a National dementia strategy for Nigeria
There was also the debate with three witch doctors from Angola that must have been quite an experience for the German sociologists present. Especially when I confronted the witch doctors and told them that they were mere conmen using the superstitions of Africans to collect goats, chickens etc. for their own profit.
I do hope to gather more information on all of the above in the Kavango Region as well, as in Namibia, the Kavango and Ovahimba Regions are considered the most powerful bewitching areas.
A girl of about twelve arrived with her grandmother who told me that her grandmother talked incoherently, could not remember things and could not look after herself. The girl said her grandmother was bewitched.
When we visited her in her little mud house, she told us that she was diagnosed with HIV AIDS, thus another HIV AIDS related dementia. She said her family isolated her because she was poor, but it was clear that it was because they thought she was bewitched.
When we found him, he told us that he was three years old. He also continued to clap his hands like they would do to show respect to an elderly. We later found out, that years ago, he was diagnosed with HIV AIDS.
After that first call from a woman in Windhoek who told us about her brother who desperately needed help, we didn't have another quiet time again. The woman on the phone asked me whether I was a traditional healer (black African) or a psychologist (white African)? The next morning we met her brother, Love More, at the filling station in Bukalo. Love More had only one eye – the other he lost in January after being attacked in Windhoek.
During my meeting with Verena, I learned quite a bit, but the most important concept that I picked up was not to create ‘dementia bubbles’ for people with dementia. What this entails is not to create a modern way of caring for people with dementia somewhere that is out of sight and out of mind from our daily ‘normal’ lives. She told me about dementia friendly societies where people with dementia are still part of their normal societies.
When talking about the maltreatment and violence against people living with dementia, I cannot stress more that alcohol and drugs are definitely not to blame. The culprits here are superstition and ignorance. These are the main reasons why people without dementia commit crimes against those with dementia.