Dementia is a syndrome where there is a deteriorating of the cognitive function or the ability to process a person's thinking thus restricting the individual's ability to carry out daily activities. The disease also causes change in a person's memory, thinking, orientation, understanding, learning ability, speech and judgement. According to the Minister of Health, statistics from the World Health Organisation, WHO indicate that around 50 million people in the world suffer dementia with nearly 60 percent of them living in low and moderate income countries. The number is expected to increase to 82 million in 2030 and up to 152 million by 2050.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar added the counry's people are not exempt from the risk of dementia. In 2017, an estimated two thousand people in the country suffered dementia. Yang Berhormat made the remarks at the launch of Mukim Serasa's "Healthy Mukim Programme" yesterday morning.

The Minister highlighted that age is the biggest risk factor for those experiencing dementia. Aging causes a person to experience the disease but other risk factors are similar to other non-communicable diseases and can be avoided. By avoiding risk factors such as the lack of physical activities, consuming unhealthy food and smoking, dementia can be prevented from a young age. Yang Berhormat added studies also show maintaining good mental health can reduce the risk of dementia. The disease is progressive in nature and there is no medicine or remedy to treat it. Hence the best way to reduce the risk of getting dementia is by practising a healthy lifestyle. Yang Berhormat said many dementia sufferers in Brunei Darussalam are senior citizens. The Minister added as healthcare and well-being measures for the country's people, the Ministry of Health has and will continue to provide comprehensive and high quality services to those needing them.

The Minister of Health also explained, in the prevention and control of diseases, various steps have been and are being implemented to together promote the healthy lifestyle such as roadshows and informal health education programmes to increase public awareness on the importance of practising a lifestyle which can reduce the risk of dementia disease.

Earlier, Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Mohamed bin Pengiran Haji Osman @ Othman, Member of the Legislative Council who is also Acting Penghulu of Mukim Serasa highlighted a programme organised by the Mukim and Village Consultative Councils to encourage villagers in the Mukim to practise a healthy lifestyle.

During yesterday's programme, 60 people received certificates of appointment as 'Health Ambassadors' in Mukim Serasa. The Health Ambassadors are hoped to be the catalysts of local programmes and activities related to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and act as liaison between the community and health authorities through the nearby Health Centre.

The participants began yesterday's activity with a warming up session, followed by a 5-kilometre walkathon around Muara Health Centre and the surrounding areas. Through the programme, the Ministry of Health hopes to establish cooperation with non-government organisations, NGOs, the private sector and the public in fulfilling a commitment to apply the healthy lifestyle in daily life.

Source: Radio Television Brunei