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Perceptions and experiences of dementia and its care in rural Kenya

Objectives: We aimed to explore the perceptions towards dementia and related care across three stakeholder groups in rural Kenya. Methods: A total of 38 key stakeholders (carers of persons with dementia, health care providers and the general public) participated in focus group discussions. Additional five individual interviews were held with carers. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings: Across the three participant groups, a total of four themes were identified: (i) negative stereotypes of dementia, (ii) limited knowledge about dementia, (iii) diagnostic pathway and (iv) neglect and abuse. Conclusions: We found a general lack of knowledge of dementia amongst family carers, healthcare professionals and the general public. The combination of poor awareness and ill-equipped healthcare systems leads to stigma manifested in the form of patchy diagnostic pathways, neglect and abuse. Local governments could take advantage of the existing family- and community-based systems to improve understanding of dementia nationally. 

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