Gunita para sa Dementia sparks new beginning for Filipino elderly patients battling Dementia


Pharmaceutical company HI-Eisai and global dementia awareness group Purple Angel launched Gunita para sa Dementia, an initiative that aims to unite stakeholders to improve the lives of Filipino patients with dementia and their caregivers.

The launch event, “Cure and Care: The Future Perspective of Dementia” highlighted Gunita para sa Dementia’s mission to raise awareness among different stakeholders about dementia, one of the major causes of disability among the elderly and the seventh leading cause of death globally. A total of 220,632 new cases of dementia in the Philippines is projected by 2030, calling for more attention to this illness that affects thousands of Filipinos and their families.

HI-Eisai Medical Director Dr. Godfrey Robeniol emphasized the importance of stakeholder collaboration to support dementia patients and their caregivers. “Integrating HI-Eisai’s philosophy of human health care into its goal, Gunita para sa Dementia is towards cherishing memories and promoting understanding. The word ‘gunita’ itself, which translates to ‘memories’ in Tagalog, embodies the essence of this initiative. It signifies the importance of preserving and valuing the memories of our loved ones, especially those living with dementia,” Dr. Robeniol said.

With nearly 10 million new cases emerging worldwide every year, Dementia is a global healthcare problem that affects not only the memories of those living with the disease but also the lives of their caregivers. Moreover, Purple Angel founder Norman McNamara highlighted the importance of promoting dementia-friendly practices for better dementia care and support during the event.

“Knowing that something can be done to support patients with dementia and their caregivers is half the battle. As we strive to raise awareness about dementia, we are paving the path toward a more compassionate future for all those impacted by the condition,” stated McNamara.

Keynote speakers and specialists also discussed current advancements in dementia prevention and treatment in the Philippines such as the use of music therapy as a way to address the mental and emotional challenges associated with dementia.

“Having a comprehensive understanding of dementia is an important step towards developing effective treatments. This understanding must encompass diverse perspectives, because dementia is a complex syndrome that should be treated with an interdisciplinary approach,” explained geriatric psychiatry expert Dr. Profitasari Kusumaningrum. “While there has been some progress, we are still far from finding a cure that will halt the progression of this disease. Therefore, the key message I wish to impart is that until such a cure becomes universally available, prevention is key. We can take proactive steps towards prevention early on, starting with ourselves and our surroundings.”

The event also unveiled the “Dementia Care Program for Seniors,” a livelihood program implemented by Tiger-Agila International One Nation Club Inc. (TIG-ILA), and the inauguration of the Global Village Assisted Living Organization.

(Above Photo L-R) Neurologist Dr. William Buot, Purple Angel representative Jill Arsenal, Caregiver and Author of “Before I Forget” Cindy Z. Reynes, Neurologist and Dementia Specialist Dr, Justine Yu, Brig General Carlito Silvano – Founding Chairman of Tig-ila, General Galma T. Arcilla – Co-Founder and National Adviser of Tig-ila, Dr. Profitasari Kusumaningrum, Dr. Godfrey Robeniol, Medical Director of HI-Eisai