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Qatar turns purple, joins the world to observe World Alzheimer’s Day

Qatar turns purple, joins the world
to observe World Alzheimer’s Day

CATHERINE W GICHUKI
DOHA
Qatar on Monday joined the world to mark the World Alzheimer’s Day by lighting up poles along the Corniche and major landmarks in purple.
The World Alzheimer’s Day is marked on September 21 every year as September is observed as World Alzheimer’s month.
The event was aimed at raising awareness about the actions to curb the stigma that is associated with the condition.
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability and is considered as the leading cause of disability and dependability of the elderly.
Speaking to media persons, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Senior Consultant Geriatric Psychiatrist Dr Mani Chandran said all the activities were related to Qatar National Dementia Plan and Qatar was the first country in the Arab region to have the plan.
“This evening, Qatar turned purple. We have a stretch of Corniche light poles turning purple as well as other major landmarks, including Museum of Islamic Art, National Museum of Qatar, Katara, Airport Express Highway, The Torch, Sheraton, among others. All these major landmarks were lit up in purple to support the noble cause of raising awareness about Alzheimer’s. Purple is Qatar’s colour of Alzheimers,” he said.
Dr Chandran said the event was aimed at raising awareness about the condition, even though it has been over a century since Alzheimer’s disease was first recognised in 1907, it still holds social stigma.
“The stigma limits the patients and their near and dear ones to seek help with the myths and misconceptions that surrounds the condition. Therefore, raising awareness will enhance acceptance of the condition, acceptance will enhance better services and better care. This is not only in Qatar but around the globe and today, countries have tried different ways to raise the awareness.”
He said they have lined up a number of events for this month, adding that on Monday, Qatar and Oman held an awareness programme for caregivers.
He added, “This is the first time we have gone across the nation and learnt from each other, sharing knowledge, experiences and doing better for the community. So, this morning, under Dr Hanadi Al Hamad’s leadership and Dr Hamed from Oman, we had the joint caregivers event. We have another major event coming under her leadership. As you know, Dr Hanadi Al Hamad is the National Lead for Healthy Ageing. She is the Focal Lead for Dementia in Qatar where she is associated with both health organisations.”
Dr Chandran added that on September 30, they will hold a major event where students from Qatar university, Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar will join clinicians from across the two nations - Qatar and Oman - including geriatricians, internal medicine doctors, neurologists and psychiatrists from the two countries. They will all listen to two international experts.
“We have the likes of Professor John Hardy from UK Dementia Research Institute, who is actually the brain prize winner of 2018, joining Professor Henry Brodaty from Australia, who is leading in risk reduction,” he said.

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