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THE IMPORTANCE OF ESTABLISHING

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATIONS IN
THE ARAB COUNTRIES

DIANE MANSOUR
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION LEBANON

REGIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ALZHEIMER’S
DISEASE AND
RELATED DISORDERS IN THE
MIDDLE EAST

October 1-2, 2005
Istanbul, Turkey

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“Given the number of families in every society who
are affected by mental illness, it is amazing that
there has not been an outcry to do more. Shame
and fear have built walls of silence.”

WHO - Annual report 2001

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“The great majority of people with dementia are doubly
excluded, those who care for people with dementia are
also excluded. This need not happen.”

Nori Graham - ADI

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Alzheimer’s Disease International

 Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) is the umbrella
organization of Alzheimer associations around the world.

 It aims to help establish and strengthen Alzheimer’s associations
throughout the world, and to raise global awareness about
Alzheimer's disease and all other causes of dementia.

 “ADI has 69 member associations around the world but is
under-represented in the Arab region” Henry Brodaty - ADI

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State of the Art in the Arab Countries

 The estimated number of people affected with dementia
in the Arab countries is around 1.5 million.

 We are in urgent need of public awareness concerning
dementia.

 We, have not been benefiting from worldwide expertise.

 Our Nursing homes in Lebanon and throughout the Arab
world are not Alzheimer’s oriented, neither in technology
and equipment, nor in awareness of up-dated
developments.

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We can make a difference!
 Centuries of prejudice, discrimination and stigma cannot be changed
overnıght....The successful treatment and communıty management relies heavily
on the involvement of social institutions and organizations.

 “Successful community reintegration and the acceptance of mental illness as an
inescapable fact of our social fabrics can only be achieved when communities
take control and become masters of their own health structures, programmes
services and organizational arrangements.” (Report on Mental Health – WHO
2001)

 We aim at developpıng a regional and national plan to raise the level of
awareness on Alzheimer’s disease in the Arab countries and reach out people
wıth dementia, caregivers, specialists, doctors, nurses, specialized iınternatıonal
agencies and governmental and non- governmental organizations.

 This work needs to be carried in a specific cultural and social context and in
a language which can reach beyond the educated elite. Arab civil society is in a
process of rapid evolution, as are governments in response to long neglected
issues. Alzheimer’s Lebanon, therefore sees the need for, and the opportunity
of, promoting further Associations in the Arab speaking world

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Alzheimer’s Associations in the
Arab countries

 Until 2003, Egypt was the only Arab country with established
Alzheimer’s associations.

 Lebanon became a full member of ADI in 2005!

 Together, in collaboration with ADI, we are all contributing to
the establishment of associations in Tunisia, Jordan, Syria,
soon in S. Arabia and hopefully Kuwait, Bahrain etc.....

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Role of Associations
 Change the attitude of the society regarding AD.

 Support caregivers.

 Change the attitude of General physicians and professional
staff.
 Enhance the quality of care in existing Nursing homes.

 Introduce occupational therapy.

 Encourage the establishment of day care services in existing
Nursing homes

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Alzheimer’s Association Lebanon
 Website.
 Hotline.
 Media coverage.
 Participation in International conferences for AD.
 Celebrating World Alzheimer’s Day.
 Caregivers Meetıngs.
 Public meetings.
 Display of a library.
 Sensibilizing the public on AD - (Projection of movie IRIS)
 Workshops for staff.
 Network wıth Arab countries.
 The Arab Conference on Alzheımer’s dısease 2005.
 USAID grant.
 Publication of an Arabic edition of “The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s
Care” by Virgina Bell and David Troxell

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RECOMMENDATIONS OF
THE ARAB CONFERENCE ON ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
IN THE ARAB WORLD- 2005

 An Arab follow-up committee was formed to encourage civil and government
organizations in the Arab World to establısh Alzheimer’s Associations.

 Civil societies and government agencies would be established in all the Arab countries
to give support and aid to those societies.

 The Committee is to provide support to Alzheimer's associations and coordinate among
each other.
 Arab associations and societies should be invited to establish electronic sites and
publish periodicals about dementia and Alzheimer's disease in the Arab World to include
the latest social and scientific findings in the Arab World and the world at large about
Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

 Invite universities and specialized centers to conduct research and surveys about
dementia and Alzheimer's in the Arab World and the services offered and the public and
private institutions and specialists working in these fields.
 A conference should be organized periodically in different Arab capitals.
 Include the rights and needs of dementia patients in the Arab legislation as per the
International proclamation of the UN about the rights of Alzheimer's patients to protect
their dignity.
 Presentations and press releases from the Conference can be referred to on
www.alzlebanon.org

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