• 9/27/2023
    Doha 27 September 2023: In support of World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, Hamad Medical Corporation’s Department of Geriatrics and Long-Term Care collaborated with the Doha Chapter of Alzheimer’s Indonesia in arranging a music therapy evening for patients living with dementia. Special guests included the Indonesian Ambassador to Qatar, H E Ridwan Hassan, and members of the Indonesian embassy, along with representatives from the CSR & Sponsorship Division of  QNB, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa,   who graciously sponsored the dinner for all participants. 

    Music therapy has been shown to have long-term benefits in reducing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. A number of patients from Enaya and DAAM Specialized Care Centers living with dementia, including family members and carers, were invited to participate in an interactive music therapy using Angklung. This is a handmade musical instrument made of bamboo that produces sounds when shaken. The interactive session was presented by the Indonesian Ladies Angklung (ILA) group, a local group of Indonesian ladies who enjoy sharing their expertise and cultural heritage with the wider community in Qatar. 

    Dr. Maryam Yousef Al Obaidli, Consultant Geriatrician at Hamad Medical Corporation, said that this event was one of the highlights of activities organized by the Department of Geriatrics and Long-Term Care in aid of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in September: “With the guidance of our leader Dr. Hanadi Al-Hamad, Deputy Chief of Rehabilitation, Long-Term and Geriatric Care, we have once again developed a comprehensive plan to engage different communities to talk about Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia. This effort is aimed at helping to reduce the stigma relating to dementia, and to educate the wider public about certain risk reduction measures that we can all adopt to reduce the risk of getting dementia.”

    “The success of such a campaign relies on the effective support of partners – we are therefore hugely grateful to the local Indonesian Alzheimer’s Association and the ILA for their contribution; HE the Ambassador of Indonesia for gracing us with his presence, and also the generosity of Qatar National Bank who sponsored the lovely dinner for the patients, carers and performers. A key highlight of the evening’s performance was the Anklung rendition of the Hayya (Better Together) tune, which was much appreciated by all,” added Dr. Al Obaidli.  

    In his opening address, H E Ridwan Hassan expressed his pleasure at supporting the Alzheimer’s Awareness activity: “It is inspirational to see the results from the collaboration between teams from Hamad Medical Corporation, the Doha Chapter of Alzheimer’s Indonesia, and the Indonesian Ladies Angklung. All worked together to engage patients in an introductory ‘Anklung’ session, and to raise awareness among carers and family members about the healing benefits of such activities. With this event, I hope together we can foster empathy, compassion, and support for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and create a more inclusive and understanding community.”

    Ms. Heba Ali Al-Tamimi, Senior Executive Vice President -  QNB Group Communications stated  her organization’s commitment to supporting worthy causes for different communities in Qatar: “QNB’s ethos is to invest in programs that support the community, we therefore support and deliver a range of initiatives within our focus areas of social and humanitarian, arts and culture, health and environment, economic and international affairs, and sport. This event connects humanitarian, health, culture and international affairs to benefit people living with dementia. We were delighted to contribute to this special event.”

    “Studies show that music therapy can help improve a person’s focus and improve their mood and overall emotional status. In the case of people with dementia, we have seen evidence of how learning to play the Anklung, which is a group activity, can lead to better socialization and enhance their ability to communicate with those close to them,” said Chairperson of ALZI Doha, Dr. Ken Lestariyani Sulis. “Events such as this one are so important to raise awareness in society, and that is why we were delighted to participate in this activity and demonstrate our solidarity with people living with dementia in Indonesia and Qatar.” 

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, causing memory loss, cognitive decline, and a significant impact on daily life. With an aging global population, the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is steadily rising, making it a critical public health concern, particularly since the global number of people living with dementia is expected to triple by 2050. World Alzheimer's Month serves as a platform to help inform and educate people about this disease.

    There is no cure for dementia presently and symptoms are likely to worsen over time, however, early diagnosis and professional intervention can help the person living with dementia and their family or carers cope much better with the progression of the condition. RAHA, the National Alzheimer’s and Memory Services Helpline can offer advice and support to people experiencing memory loss.