One in every 12 individuals 60 years or older in Bangladesh have dementia (prevalence 8%), says a national survey on Wednesday.
The burden is higher in Rajshahi (15%) and Rangpur (12%) than other divisions, and did not vary between urban and rural areas (8%).
The burden of dementia among females was found higher than males across all ages and divisions.
The study estimates that the total number of dementia cases in Bangladesh in 2020 could be about 1.1 million, including 0.28 million males and 0.83 million females.
The study projects that the number could increase to 1.37 million in 2025 and could be doubled in 2041 (2.4 million), which may increase even further if not intervened effectively.
On Wednesday, icddr,b in collaboration with the Non-Communicable Disease Control Programme of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and the National Institute of Neuroscience & Hospital (NINS), organised a virtual webinar titled “The burden of dementia among older people in Bangladesh: Findings of a National Survey” to disseminate the recently concluded survey findings.
Professor Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Director General, DGHS, graced the occasion as the chief guest.
Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, Executive Director at icddr,b, and Prof. Quazi Deen Mohammad, Director, NINS were special guests, while Professor Dr Robed Amin, Line Director, NCDC Programme, DGHS chaired the event.
Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 50 million people have dementia globally, and 60 per cent of them are from low-and middle-income countries.
It is to be noted that there is very little information on dementia among the South Asian population, including Bangladesh.
Unavailability of data has challenged the policymakers to consider and develop strategies and programmes to provide quality care to its senior citizens who suffer the most.
The majority of the NCD prevention and control programmes target productive age groups with little emphasis on mental health.