Dean's Grand Rounds - Addressing the Dementia Care Gap: Leveraging Primary Care in Low and Middle Income Countries

Thursday 14 March 2024

Overview of this webinar

Mental health services for the elderly are not readily available in many developing countries, and there is a shortage of geriatric psychiatrists. This is a growing concern as the number of ageing people in these countries is increasing, and non-communicable risk factors associated with dementia, such as diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, and obesity, are on the rise. Although general psychiatrists, neurologists and family physicians are available, their numbers are small, and they cannot provide comprehensive care for patients with dementia. In this regard, primary care services are better placed to deliver dementia services in low- and middle-income countries. The primary care workforce, including general practitioners and nurses, can be trained to offer holistic care for dementia patients and refer them to psychiatrists. This task-shifting is necessary to triage, treat, and address co-morbid medical and psychiatric disorders among patients with dementia. Moreover, it can provide links to community public health services to reduce risk factors, raise awareness and help communities to take care of patients with dementia.

In collaboration with the World Network of Psychiatric Trainees.


    • Dr Djibril Moussa MD Msc, Atlantic fellow in global brain health, memory and aging center, department of neurology, UCSF, San Francisco, USA Department of psychiatry, Borama Hospital, Borama, Somaliland.
    • Dr Chandrima Naskar, Associate Specialist, Psychiatry, Tata Main Hospital; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Manipal Tata Medical College, Jamshedpur, India.
    • Dr Margaret Isioma Ojeahere, Consultant Psychiatrist, Assistant Training Director, Department of Psychiatry, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.
    • Co-chair - Dr Sanya Virani, Assistant Professor, Associate Programme Director- Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, Department d Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts, USA.
    • Co-chair - Dr Victor Pereira-Sanchez, MD, PhD, Director of Global Fellowships, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Global Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the Child Mind Institute.



    Recommended reading:

    1. Ayinde, Olatunde Olayinka, and Adefolakemi Temitope Ogundele, 'Nigeria', in Alistair Burns, and Philippe Robert (eds), Dementia Care: International Perspectives (Oxford, 2019; online edn, Oxford Academic, 1 Mar. 2019),, accessed 12 Mar. 2024.

    2. Volpe, Umberto et al. “Pathways to care for people with dementia: An international multicentre study.” International journal of geriatric psychiatry vol. 35,2 (2020): 163-173. doi:10.1002/gps.5223

    3. Akinyemi, Rufus O et al. “Dementia in Africa: Current evidence, knowledge gaps, and future directions.” Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association vol. 18,4 (2022): 790-809. doi:10.1002/alz.12432

    4. Sheikh, Saima et al. “SENSE-Cog Asia: A Feasibility Study of a Hearing Intervention to Improve Outcomes in People With Dementia.” Frontiers in neurology vol. 12 654143. 14 Jun. 2021, doi:10.3389/fneur.2021.654143


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