TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee tells Anonna Dutt that there has been an increase in dementia cases. He raised a question on this issue in parliament.
What made you raise the question?
In my role as an MP and a legal professional, I keep meeting people from all walks of life. It is my understanding that there has been an increase in dementia cases over the years, especially after the pandemic. I see several very active persons starting to forget things, and at younger ages. I had also read about the issue. So, I decided to raise it.
Did you get the answers you were expecting?
No. The answer quotes the Lancet paper I referred to. However, the government has provided no breakup of the number of cases recorded every year and state-wise breakup of the data. Perhaps, the government doesn’t have the data at all.
The government said early screening of non-communicable diseases and geriatric services is already being done under various programmes…
It is good to address diabetes and hypertension as they are the basis for many other illnesses. But, I wanted to know what the government is doing specifically to bring down the incidence of dementia. When there is no record of the number of cases, what could be happening about treatment and prevention?
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What needs to be done to improve dementia care?
I am not an expert. We need experts to tell us what needs to be done. If there is any disease in the country, it is the responsibility of the government to provide medical services and set up clinical institutes for it.
Do you have any personal experience with the condition?
The disease can impact the lives of people very severely, especially a person like me in the public field. If I forget what I was talking about, I cannot function professionally.