The Anidaso Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (APDF) in partnership with Parkinson’s Africa (PA) will hold an awareness campaign on the Disease (PD) in Accra.
The campaign scheduled for June 1 to June 3, 2022 is in collaboration with Colonel Guy Deacon, a retired British colonel, CBE, who was diagnosed with the disease for the past 11 years.
A statement issued in Accra by Dr Vida Obese, the President Anidaso Parkinsons Disease Foundation, 0said APDF and PA were two organisations with a common goal of improving the lives of Ghanaians affected by disease.
PD is the second most common neurological disorder in the world, and it is currently the fastest growing, with cases across Africa expected to rise dramatically in the coming years.
It is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that affects the part of the brain that controls movement.
The statement said though formal prevalent studies have not been done, “we know it forms 12 per cent of diseases reported at the Neurology Clinics in our four major hospitals in Ghana.”
The statement said many other functions, including mood, memory, cognition and sleep are also impacted.
It said as the disease progressed, the affected person’s ability to move and function independently becomes severely impacted, rendering them partially or wholly reliant on family, relatives and caregivers.
“Across the world, neurological disorders, like PD, are now the leading cause of disability,” it said.
The statement said what that meant was that as Parkinson’s cases continue to rise across Ghana, and Africa, so would the burden it bears on society as a whole.
It said the two organisations were committed to reducing the burden by equipping Ghanaians affected by the disease with the tools and resources they needed to make informed health decisions about the best management and treatment options, in order to live with the disease.
“We believe that the first step to doing this is raising the levels of awareness of PD in Ghana,” the statement added.
It said in addition to utilising various media outlets to inform and educate the public about PD, the two organizations have teamed up with Guy Deacon, a former British army officer who has the disease.
On April 11, 2022 (known globally as World Parkinson’s Day), Col. Guy embarked on a “Freetown to Cape Town” journey that started in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and would take him through Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Angola, Namibia and, ultimately, Cape Town, South Africa.
He would meet with people with Parkinson’s, neurologists and health leaders in each of these countries.
The statement said he would also visit some Parkinson’s projects that are growing across the continent.
He is keen on meeting the relevant stakeholders who help shape policies that affect these patients and to help Parkinson’s disease organizations and groups to map out how they could engage policy makers in the interest of the patients.
Col. Guy would be creating a documentary, following his travels, to portray the difficult realities of living with Parkinson’s in both the UK and Africa, and to highlight the work being done by organisations such as APDF and PA.
It said “we are actively trying to create solutions that will remove some of the heavy burden that Ghanaian families and communities affected by PD face, but we cannot do it on our own. We need as much support as we can get.”
The statement said the organisations have plans to utilise the opportunity of Col. Guy’s trip to Ghana to significantly raise the levels of awareness of PD in Ghana.