Project Lead(s): Tracy Pasaribu
There are nine million new cases of dementia every year worldwide and one new case of dementia in every three seconds in the world. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease International World Alzheimer's Report 2015, the global economic impact of dementia is $604 billion US.
In Indonesia, twenty million adults or about 10% of the population is older than 60 and at risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD), a relatively unknown disease in the country.
The most recent data on AD’s prevalence in Indonesia was conducted by Survey Meter, Atmajaya University and Alzheimer Indonesia, and the numbers are staggering: one out of 10 elderly people in Yogyakarta aged 70 years old is estimated to have dementia. There has been no data on AD’s prevalence in other provinces in Indonesia, aside from Yogyakarta, and a lack of geriatricians and high-quality dementia care for the elderly aggravates the situation.
A project called called Kick-starting Alzheimer’s Awareness in Indonesia aimed to promote Alzheimer awareness through an integrated campaign: bombarding the public with key messages through social and conventional media, learning activities with experts and experienced caregivers, and media engagement.
As part of a comprehensive strategy to kick-start Alzheimer’s awareness in Indonesia, the project team brought the issue to the attention of the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs, provincial governments of Jakarta, Semarang, Bogor West Java, Bandung and Special Region of Yogyakarta.
The project team also encouraged the private sector to do its part in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and successfully approached Prodia Lab, one of Indonesia’s largest pharmacy chains, to help disseminate the ten warning signs and seven stages of Alzheimer’s videos, by playing them on televisions in the waiting rooms of 100 of its branches, spread across 78 cities and 29 provinces in Indonesia. Prodia has been a partner in conducting educational sessions on dementia for the past years.
PT EISAI Indonesia, a pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co. Ltd., also agreed to play the videos at their offices and has dedicated part of their website for information on Alzheimer’s disease, along with a call-centre dedicated to provide information; counselling and services were launched in World’s Alzheimer Month (September 2016). Both videos produced on the subject have been well-received by the public, and are being used on an ongoing basis by volunteers and doctors to educate the population about Alzheimer’s.
Overall, in just less than two years, the awareness-raising efforts brought significant increases in understanding and concern about Alzheimer’s disease in the general public, the government,the private sector and the media.
One the project’s most notable achievements was the formation of the ‘National Strategy: Towards Healthy and Productive Brains in the Elderly’ with the Ministry of Health, the Coordinating Minister for the People’s Welfare, the Ministry of Education and Culture, National Population and Family Planning Board, other non-government organizations, educational institutions, and associations of professionals. This strategy led to the Ministry of Health’s commitment to launch Indonesia’s Dementia National Plan – the first Dementia National Plan in South East Asia and 24th in the world in Jakarta on March 10, 2016. The Indonesian Ministry of Health pledged approximately $105,000 to support the implementation of its Dementia Plan.
Post-campaign testing showed an increase in knowledge of the disease, with 75% of respondents being able to correctly describe it, compared to 39% in the pre-test. There was also a 300% increased of individuals who reached out seeking early detection and screening to tthree hospitals in Jakarta, Semarang and Yogyakarta; these numbers demonstrated how the awareness-raising campaign that was initiated by the project played a significant role in behaviour change.
The Bank CIMB Niaga donated $14,468 CAD to Alzheimer’s Indonesia, to continue raising awareness of the disease and pledged to be the first Age Friendly Bank in Indonesia by 2017.
The project team plans to apply for Phase II funding from Grand Challenges Canada to scale up the project.
Partnerships have been developed with a number of organizations, including the Jakarta Provincial Government, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Affairs, Maverick Indonesia, Juara Agency, Indonesia Sports Medicine Center (ISMC), EISAI, Prodia Lab, Periplus Bookstore, Bank Central Asia (BCA), Tanyadok.com, Gramedia Pustaka Utama (GPU), Rukun Senior Living, and many others.