Raising dementia awareness among health professionals in Bangladesh

At a recent meeting in Dhaka, Professor Wazi Alam Chowdhury, Director, National Institute of Mental Health in Dhaka, said that dementia awareness among health professionals in Bangladesh is significantly low. The Beveridge Foundation’s Medical Director, Lt. Col. (Retd) DR. A N M Shahidul Alam and Head of Dementia, MD Rashed Suhrawardy, recently visited the Professor’s office of to brief him about the activities of the Foundation and Dementia Bangladesh. Professor Wazi is also the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Association of Psychiatrists and an associate editor of the Bangladesh Journal of Psychiatry.
During the discussion the Professor advised that the Foundation’s awareness programme should start from the grassroots and move up into tertiary hospitals and he would support dementia training initiatives for doctors, non-medical personnel, family members and care givers. He emphasised the need to provide care and support for the carers of people with dementia.

Professor Wazi also discussed the activities being carried out at the Institute of Mental Health and explained that there were many departments concerned with psychiatry. He mostly dealt with alzheimers disease and the vascular form of dementia but that, at present, there were a limited number of dementia cases. A geriatric centre was due to be opened at the Institute. He went on to explain that the Institute conducts a Continued Medical Education (CME) programme, arranges periodic scientific seminars on various topics as well as national and international seminars. Representatives from the Beveridge Foundation have been invited to attend these seminars in the future.
After this discussion, the Foundation’s Medical Director and Head of Dementia went on to meet with Associate Professor  Dr Md Faruk Alam, Executive Editor and publisher of the Bangladesh Journal of Psychiatrists. The Foundation will be providing articles for publishing in the journal about its activities on dementia.

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