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Unicaf University National Symposium on Dementia in Zambia

The Unicaf University National Symposium on Dementia in Zambia was a landmark event in advancing dementia care in Southern Africa. Held in collaboration with Huddersfield University and Zambia’s Ministry of Health, the symposium focused on the innovative Focused Interventions Training and Support (FITS) programme, which encourages person-centred care and minimizes the use of antipsychotic medication in dementia treatment.

The FITS programme in dementia practice is an evidence-based programme targeting the inappropriate prescription of antipsychotic medication to manage behaviour problems in people suffering from dementia and living in care/residential homes. Effective patient-centred approaches and the use of evidence-based psychosocial interventions have been proven to reduce the careless prescription of such drugs. It was proven in developed countries and emphasis was given to adopting this approach in the African context where dementia is one of the growing public health concerns nowadays.

Given the projection by Alzheimer’s Disease International of dementia cases in Sub-Saharan Africa doubling by 2050, this symposium was timely. It embraced the FITS programme’s approach of individualized care, which is supported by global research as a method to significantly enhance the quality of life for dementia patients.

The event provided healthcare professionals with the opportunity to qualify as Dementia Care Coaches, equipping them to apply these critical care strategies in their work, thus influencing the future trajectory of dementia care in Zambia and the wider region.

Please enjoy this promotional video segment on the Unicaf University National Symposium on Dementia in Zambia from 5fm Radio Zambia: Youtube