Kenya: Fighting Malnutrition In Rural Communities

kenya

Earlier this month, a 4×4 vehicle loaded with scales, a height measure, upper arm circumference tapes and food supplies departed from a hospital. Its destination was a Doctors of the World outreach clinic in Isiolo county, Kenya where the reported cases of malnutrition have risen quicker than anywhere else in the country.

On February 10th, 2017 the Kenyan government declared a state of emergency due to drought, with an estimated 4 million people facing severe food shortages. The majority of these communities lie in rural areas of Kenya, such as Isiolo County, where lower than average amounts of rainfall have seriously affected agriculture and food productivity.

In response to the extreme drought conditions, Doctors of the World has launched an emergency response in Isiolo, specifically in areas not yet receiving any humanitarian aid. At our outreach clinics, we are providing malnutrition screening and treatment, while referring severely malnourished people to local hospitals. Our teams work in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the Northern Rangelands Trust (a local NGO) to identify local communities in need.

We are also focusing our treatment efforts on pregnant women and children under 5. Muna, our community health nurse who has been working with Doctors of the World in Isiolo County Hospital, has told us stories of people walking several days to receive medical attention – and many don’t make it. Often pregnant women are the hardest hit by malnutrition. As Muna was told: “When a woman is pregnant, they say her grave is open.”

Our UK colleague, Lucy Coley, who recently visited our program in Kenya, described our current outreach activities: “We are working in two very small villages, Ngaredare and Gotu, where our team does mass screenings to identify and treat malnourished children and pregnant women. Gotu is 80km away from the nearest health facility, and there are no paved roads or vehicles here. Without Doctors of the World bringing support into these communities, these people would simply not receive any assistance.”

In Kenya, we aim to prevent further deterioration in people’s health in severely drought affected areas of Isiolo County, while at the same time monitoring and responding to any new outbreaks of malnutrition. As Lucy describes, “We’ve hired a brilliant team of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and community health workers – both Kenyan and international volunteers – who are now on the ground conducting outreach in Isiolo.”

By working both within and alongside these communities, we hope to mitigate the ongoing threat of famine that 20 million people across Sub-Saharan Africa are currently facing. For the latest information on malnutrition in Kenya and other parts of Africa, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Photography © Médecins du Monde
In collaboration with Doctors of the World UK.

Voices From The Field: Erika In Maiduguri, Nigeria

As the Project Officer for Doctors of the World USA I recently traveled to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, in northeast Nigeria to support our team as they roll out their Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) grant which is focused on providing healthcare services to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities.

Seven years have passed since the beginning of the violent armed conflict between the US-designated terrorist group known as Boko Haram and the Nigerian government. The conflict has resulted in widespread displacement, violations of international humanitarian law, thousands of civilian casualties, and a growing humanitarian crisis. With attacks occurring on a regular basis, the crisis is directly affecting more than 8.5 million people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states.

Maiduguri and the surrounding area has received more than 1 million IDPs, overwhelming the local infrastructure and basic services. MdM is working hard to provide these IDPs with access to medical care and health services. One of the highlights of my time here was visiting our clinics, meeting our local staff, and talking with our patients. The MdM facilities support both the IDP and the host community populations, with all patients receiving free healthcare and medicine. This is especially valuable for displaced people as they are often far from home with very little disposable income.

By mid-morning in Maiduguri it’s already 100◦F, and the temperature continues to climb throughout the day. To combat the heat, each health facility has multiple rechargeable fans to move the hot air around. It doesn’t necessarily keep the patients (or staff) cool, but it helps to at least move the air. Staff have been teasing me because I’ve had some challenges acclimatizing to the heat and therefore carry a fan with me throughout the office!

Each clinic starts the day with a health information session run by our community mobilizers – topics such as malaria prevention, the importance of pre-natal visits, etc., are discussed with the patients as the health workers prepare for the day. From the time they start seeing patients to the time the clinic closes, the health workers are non-stop – our clinics see roughly 100-150 patients a day.

The MdM office has two cats – Fatso and Pompom. These cats have free reign of the office and bring smiles to the health workers and staff, providing their “humans” with a reprieve from their daily challenges. And they are fascinated by the oscillation of fans!

The MdM team is working in a unique environment, but despite all of the challenges they come to work every day with enthusiasm and energy, excited to do their part for the local community. I am so glad that I came to Maiduguri and had the opportunity to meet our team here. I haven’t even left yet and I’m already looking forward to my next trip.

For the latest information on the crisis in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Yemen: 462,000 Children At Risk Of Starvation

Yemeni children in Al Joob village © Alex Potter

As covered in Le Monde, the Doctors of the World/Médecins du Monde international network and other humanitarian actors such as Action Against Hunger, War Child, and the Norwegian Refugee Council express our concern at the continued atrocities occurring in Yemen. We believe that the entire international community bears responsibility for this conflict, as countries continue to supply weapons to warring parties in Yemen but fail to take any political action to protect civilians.

5 NGO’s raise the alarm on Yemen conflict

Imagine if the 19 million inhabitants of New York were subjected to incessant bombing raids, deprived of the food they needed to survive, unable to flee, and subsequently ignored by the international community. For the last 2 years, this has been the reality for the 19 million people living in Yemen in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

On April the 25th the United Nations hosted an aid-pledging conference in Geneva, chaired by Antonio Guterres, alongside civil society actors, NGO’s and institutional funders, in order to secure funding for ongoing humanitarian aid work in Yemen. The conference also acted as a platform for multiple NGO’s, including Doctors of the World, to express concern on behalf of the millions of Yemeni women, men, and children held hostage to diplomatic inaction and the violence of warring parties who ignore international humanitarian law on a daily basis.

© Mèdecins du Monde

Obstacles to humanitarian action

Every day our organizations attempt to provide aid to vulnerable communities who so desperately need it, but all too often we are unable to fulfill our humanitarian obligations. In addition to the security risk our staff members face and the administrative barriers which stop us from accessing certain communities, there are also ongoing blockades of humanitarian goods, including medical supplies and food.

In a country which imports 90% of its food, the quantities of imported food arriving in the country are no longer sufficient. Although a famine has not been officially declared because we cannot access certain areas to accurately determine the need, estimates put the number of children under the age of 5 at an immediate risk of dying from malnutrition at 462,000.

This is most likely a conservative estimate. The potential closure of the port of Hodeidah increases the likelihood of the humanitarian situation deteriorating. Hodeidah port is the main point of entry for supplying food goods to the north of the country therefore it must remain open. In addition to the food crisis, the country’s healthcare workers have not been paid for months, and over half of its healthcare facilities are no longer operational – at this point the entire health system is in danger of collapse.

© Médecins du Monde

Protecting civilian populations

Finally, we have witnessed the intense and repeated use of explosives in populated areas with complete disregard for civilian life. In addition to the those killed or injured, our teams report that the large majority of communities are emotionally traumatized, suffering from both physical and psychological distress, with numerous cases of anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder reported.

The international community must start making financial commitments to meet the needs of those suffering across the country. However, unless the food blockade is lifted immediately, the bombing of populated areas ceases, and access to communities in need is made a top priority, any financial commitment will have little effect.

This conference was not simply about eliciting a financial response from the international community, but also about establishing ways in which our leaders can promote international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians in war zones. Unless, of course, they choose to bury the founding principles of humanitarian aid alongside the thousands of Yemeni people they have failed to protect.

Signatories:
Action Against Hunger
Doctors of the World
Norwegian Refugee Council
Saferworld
Save the Children
Tearfund
War Child

For the latest information on the crisis in Yemen, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Nigeria: US Ambassador Symington Visits DotW Clinic In Garba Buzu

US Ambassador to Nigeria W. Stuart Symington taking a tour of the Doctors of the World clinic in Garba Buzu IDP camp, Nigeria.

On April 28th, 2017 the US Ambassador to Nigeria W. Stuart Symington visited a Doctors of the World clinic in the Garba Buzu internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Borno state. The visit was organized by the International Organization of Migration (IOM). Doctors of the World has been present in Garba Buzu since October 2016. Our team runs a free clinic that sees on average 100-150 patients a day, providing mostly antenatal care, primary healthcare and malnutrition screening.

The ambassador was accompanied by the Garba Buzu community leader, the Garba Buzu land-owner who donated the land to the thousands of displaced families in need, and IOM representatives. As they toured the community they spent significant time speaking with community members in an effort to understand the daily challenges and difficulties of living in an IDP camp such as Garba Buzu, where around 3,500 people currently reside.

One of the stops on the ambassador’s visit to the camp was the Garba Buzu health clinic, operated by Doctors of the World. On reaching the clinic, Ambassador Symington spent half an hour there, meeting our staff and talking with the dozens of patients treated at the clinic everyday. As our medical supervisor at the clinic, Dr. Zainab, gave the ambassador a tour of the facility, the ambassador asked the Garba Buzu community leader accompanying them “What do you think is the best thing that has happened to the community since you’ve been living in Garba Buzu?” The community leader paused, then replied “Having access to shelter and access to the free services and medicine provided at this clinic”.

A big thank you to US Ambassador Symington for taking the time to visit our clinic in Garba Buzu.

For the latest information on the crisis in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Photographs © Doctors of the World USA/Hassan Malgwi

Nigeria: Millions Of Displaced People Remain In Limbo

A member of staff provides treatment to a child and her mother in Kawarmella camp, where around 3,000 people are currently displaced.

In northeast Nigeria, the ongoing conflict between the Nigerian government and the US-designated terrorist group Boko Haram has left close to 1.8 million people displaced. Everyday routines such as community markets and food supply chains have been severely affected by the instability, leaving many families starving and without access to food. This has caused a spike in the reported cases of malnutrition.

Food distribution taking place in Emiskin camp, where 9,000 people currently live – the majority of whom have fled violence in the north of Borno state.

Doctors of the World has been working in Nigeria since 2007, and is currently responding to the ongoing food insecurity that is affecting displaced communities in Borno state. Borno state has the highest numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the region, with an estimated 1.5 million people currently displaced there. The vast majority of the people we treat are those fleeing fierce fighting in the north. At the onset of the crisis, our first clinics in the region opened in Garba Buzu and Kawarmella camps in October 2016. We also sent 10 tons of medical supplies and medicine to the area.

A baby being weighed and screened for malnutrition in Kawarmella camp at a Doctors of the World supported clinic.

Currently we are active in Kawarmella camp with a population of roughly 3,000 people, Emiskin camp where around 9,000 people are currently living, and Garba Buzu camp where 3,500 people reside. In each IDP camp we operate a clinic that is staffed by male and female clinicians, midwives, pharmacists, several nurses, registrars and employees to ensure crowd control. On average we treat 100-150 people a day at each clinic, with the majority of our patients being pregnant women and their children. We focus on providing antenatal care, family planning children’s healthy development. We also work closely with the Nigerian authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) to host immunization campaigns for children.

Some of our members of staff at work in Garba Buzu camp.

Each DotW-supported clinic in these IDP camps begins the day with a health and hygiene information session for anyone in the community who wishes to attend. We also have Community Mobilizers who go house to house providing health education. If they encounter someone who is unwell and has not yet visited the clinic, our mobilizers provide them with support and encourage them to get in touch with a member of our staff or to visit the clinic.

Children line up to collect water in Garba Buzu camp.

Although there has been an increase in humanitarian assistance to Borno state, the situation is far from secure. Many families remain in limbo, unable to return to their villages, concerned about where they will find their next meal, and uncertain as to what the next day will bring.

To support our ongoing response to the hunger crisis, DONATE. For updates on the situation in Nigeria and other African countries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Somalia: Drought Conditions Increase Instability

One of the health centers we support in Puntland. © Médecins du Monde

“We are living here in Shahda camp because we have lost almost everything. Before we came, we were feeding cardboard and water to our animals” – Star Abdullahi, a mother of 6 and one of the millions of people in Somalia who have fled violence, drought and hunger.

In 2011, just six short years ago, over 260,000 people starved to death in Somalia. This year, famine once again threatens thousands of families across the country.

Somalia has been wracked by civil war and conflict for over 25 years. Militant groups such as Al-Shabaab – which the US designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 2008 – have controlled vast areas in the south of the country for the last decade, causing many internally displaced people (IDPs) to flee to northern areas such as Puntland. The resulting instability has caused a severe deterioration in living conditions for most of the population, which has been exacerbated by recent events such as floods and droughts.

Patients waiting to be treated in Puntland. © Médecins du Monde

Doctors of the World has operated a sexual and reproductive health (SRH) clinic in the port town of Bosaso in Puntland since 2011. Currently, more than 60,000 people live in 38 IDP camps spread throughout Bosaso. An additional 3,000 displaced people are scattered in rural areas outside of town.

Puntland and Somaliland are currently experiencing drought conditions, exacerbated by a milder than normal rainy season from October to December (known locally as the Deyr). Outside of the rainy season, Somalia receives little rainfall; as a result, drought conditions will likely intensify, and total crop failure is expected in some areas. In Puntland, drought conditions are estimated to impact over 150,000 people. Thousands of people living in rural areas are flooding into cities and IDP camps in order to find food and aid.

© United Nations

“We had to leave our wives and children behind in villages because they are not strong enough to make this journey on foot,” explained Abdirisak Farah.

As a result of the drought conditions there has been a sharp increase in cases of malnutrition, AWD (Acute Watery Diarrhea – a precursor to cholera and a direct cause of malnutrition) and cholera itself. It is estimated that 363,000 children under 5 are acutely malnourished – with 71,000 at risk of imminent death. In 2017 so far there have been over 7,700 cases of AWD and 183 deaths.

In response to the crisis, our teams are scaling up their capacity in Somalia. We are providing the Bosaso General Hospital with additional resources and increasing our activities such as early detection, prevention and treatment of AWD, cholera and malaria through our mobile units – with a new unit added last month. Beatriz Valbuena, DotW General Coordinator in Somalia, explains, “We already had the expertise, but with the new mobile unit we can reach a lot more people.”

Members of our team in Puntland. © Médecins du Monde

We are also focused on providing care in rural areas, which have little to no access to health and medical facilities. Valbuena goes on to say, “We are transporting the severely undernourished children by ambulance to health centers, all free of charge.”

Our teams, alongside a variety of humanitarian actors, are working hard to prevent a repeat of the 2011 famine. You can support our work and Donate Now to provide critical medical and nutritional care to Somalis in need. 

For the latest information on the food crisis in Somalia and other parts of Africa, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Palestine: Israel Poised to Demolish Village

As you read this, the Israeli government is preparing to demolish an entire village in the Palestinian West Bank. Over 80 international NGO’s and human rights organizations are calling for an urgent international response to prevent the demolition of Khan al-Amar village and the relocation of 130 people currently living there – more than half of whom are women and children.

Doctors of the World has been active in Palestine for over 18 years, specifically in the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Our teams are particularly concerned about the psychological impact this demolition will have on the families who will be forced to relocate. “While most of the people we work with are in a constant state of stress, we know this displacement will have serious psychological consequences for the residents of the village – especially for the children who are particularly vulnerable,” reported Itziar de Miguel, head of Doctors of the World’s project in Palestine.

The United Nations has declared that the demolition of the village and subsequent resettling of its residents is a “forcible transfer” that would constitute a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War). Oxfam’s Palestine Country Director, Chris Eijkemans, says, “These alarming developments must be seen in the broader context of the continued annexation of Palestinian land by the Israeli authorities.”

In response to the threat, AIDA (Association of International Development Agencies) has called on the European Union, the United States and the rest of the international community to publicly condemn the demolition of Khan al-Amar and all other seizing of Palestinian land being carried out by Israeli authorities. Khan al-Amar is just one of 46 communities in the central West Bank (with a combined population of over 7,000) that the UN believes to be under risk of forcible transfer due to Israeli expansion plans.

For the latest information on Palestine, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Photography © Bruno Ferts

Famine Threatens Millions Across Africa and the Middle East

Young girls in Borno state, Nigeria. © Reuters

We are on the precipice of another humanitarian crisis. The hunger crisis that is raging in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen is threatening the lives of millions of people. The crisis is urgent, complex and vast. Without swift action, alarming food shortages in Ethiopia, Chad, Kenya, Uganda, and Niger, could also spiral into crisis.

Crop failures brought on by climate change, combined with conflicts that have forced entire villages from their land, have caused the onset of famine in four countries across Africa and the Middle East. An estimated 20 million people – including 1.4 million children – are already suffering from malnutrition, and if the global community fails to act, the ongoing food shortages and widespread poverty in these countries will cause unthinkable suffering and unnecessary deaths.

As a member organization of Consortium 12-12, a Belgian non-profit platform, Doctors of the World is working to distribute food and water, provide medical care, improve hygiene and strengthen the agricultural capabilities of these communities in three of the famine-affected countries: Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.

Nigeria

Women in Borno state, Nigeria line up for treatment at a Doctors of the World clinic.

Since 2014, the north eastern state of Borno in Nigeria has been struggling to contain the extremist group known as Boko Haram. Over 20,000 people have died as a result of the insurgency and 2.6 million have been displaced. The medical needs in Nigeria are immense: 30% of medical facilities have been destroyed in the conflict, severely debilitating the health infrastructure in the area.

DotW’s General Director of International Operations, Jean-Francois Corty reported that “Boko Haram have continuously attacked medical facilities, targeting and killing medical personnel. There is a constant shortage of drugs and equipment. 90% of the current health infrastructure does not know how to treat cases of malnutrition in children. This is a humanitarian crisis that is quickly becoming forgotten.”

Since 2016, we have operated two mobile clinics in Borno state. We provide primary medical care to displaced communities and malnutrition treatment to children and pregnant women. After observing the situation, Jean-Francois added, “The population needs clean water, food and shelter. The situation is alarming and access to food is at serious risk, because people can no longer fish or breed cattle”. Doctors of the World has sent 10 tons of equipment to the area, but far more aid is needed.

In response to the hunger crisis we have launched multiple mobile units known as Outreach Therapeutic Programs, where we detect and treat malnourished children under the age of 5. In 2 weeks, we screened 582 children at these units and found that over 50 were suffering from malnutrition. We are currently providing access to primary care in 4 IDP camps and supporting 2 healthcare centers in Maiduguri.

Somalia

One of the health centers we support in Puntland. © Médecins du Monde

Somalia has been plagued by civil war for over 20 years, and 6.2 million people current live without food security. Doctors of the World has been working in the town of Bosaso in Northern Somalia in Puntland since 2011. There are currently 60,000 displaced people in Bosaso, including 3,000 in the rural areas surrounding the town. Puntland is currently experiencing drought conditions that are expected to affect over 150,000 people.

As drought conditions worsen, there has been a sharp increase in cases of malnutrition, AWD (Acute Watery Diarrhea), and cholera amongst these communities. It is estimated that 363,000 children are currently malnourished in Somalia.

In response to the crisis, we are doubling our capacity in Puntland, and have added two new mobile units to screen for malnutrition. According to Beatriz Valbuena, our General Coordinator in Somalia, “The last remaining organization in this region had to call back its two mobile teams due to budgetary reasons. As a result, there were only three mobile teams left in the whole Bosaso region. The women, children and men in these areas have no way to get to places where they can be treated,” she adds, “We are transporting the severely undernourished people by ambulance to our health centers, all free of charge.”

For more information on our work in Somalia, click here.

Yemen

A Yemeni refugee family in Khamer, northwest of Sana’a © NYTimes

The war in Yemen has claimed over 10,000 lives and left 3 million displaced since 2014. As a result, Yemen is currently facing the largest food emergency in the world and 65% of Yemenis currently do not have reliable access to food. The price of food spiked severely in September 2016, as the conflict in the country escalated. Around 7 million people in Yemen depend entirely on food assistance, with the rate of child malnutrition being one of the highest in the world.

Doctors of the World began working in Yemen in 2015, focusing mainly on food security and child health. We now support 8 health centers and one maternity clinic in the governorates of Sana’a and Ibb. We also operate an emergency team, which provides assistance and emergency supplies to conflict areas.

Donate to support communities affected by the famine in Africa and the Middle East. For the latest information on the famine, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Working Together In Uncertain Times: A Message From Our Executive Director

A woman receives treatment at one of our projects in Iraqi Kurdistan.

This past summer, I was honored to take the position of Executive Director of Doctors of the World USA. I have spent a long career working for a variety of global health, human rights, and social justice causes, and have been present as an activist on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic since its terrifying early years. The opportunity to lead the US Chapter of the international Médecins du Monde network represents a culmination of much of what I have worked for.

Doctors of the World’s mission, principles and values, especially its commitment to advocating for healthcare as a human right for all, have never been more important. These are uncertain times in our country and around the world, when we must redouble our efforts to advance our life-saving work and resist policies that we believe contradict our values, whether it be supporting immigrants who simply want a better life for themselves and their families, the rights of women to freely make their own reproductive and health decisions, or opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would make healthcare a privilege available only to the few who can afford it.

The challenges we face may feel overwhelming – in many ways they always have been. But I can say with certainty that as advocates for evidence-based and sensible public policy, and for fundamental principles of humanity, we have the power to overcome the course of current events. I know this because I have seen it firsthand as an AIDS activist, and I am optimistic that, working together, we can do it again.

I am fortunate to work with a large and diverse team of experienced and dedicated humanitarian, medical, and public health experts who are carrying out our mission in more than 80 countries around the world today, often in unimaginably difficult circumstances. I hope you will join us in the coming year as we conduct the vital and difficult work that lies ahead. For the latest information on our projects around the world, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.

Fraser Mooney
Executive Director

Photography © Olivier Papegnies/Collectif Huma

Japan: Helping Communities Rebuild Post-Fukushima

On March 11th, 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off of the coast of eastern Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami. Today, on the sixth anniversary of the disaster, we honor the thousands who lost their lives, the emergency personnel that led rescue missions and cared for the injured, and the family members who lost loved ones. 2,500 people are still reported as missing, their bodies have never been found.

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami created water surges reaching up to 133 feet high, devastating many towns, prompting mass evacuations and causing nearly 16,000 deaths. During the natural disaster, the tsunami also flooded the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant causing it to break down and begin to leak radioactive material. Over 200,000 people were evacuated from the surrounding areas.

In response to the humanitarian crisis, Doctors of the World Japan immediately jumped in to support the health services in Iwate and Fukushima prefectures. Our teams provided medical and psychological care in 16 shelters that housed more than 1,100 displaced Japanese from the surrounding communities.

While the earthquake and its aftershocks were felt across Japan, the areas most devastated by the ensuing tsunami were in the northeast of the country in the prefectures of Iwate, Fukushima, and Miyagi. In some areas, water surges reached towns 6 miles inland. As the earthquake and tsunami struck in the middle of the day while children were at school and parents at work, many families were separated during the chaos. Save The Children estimated that over 100,000 children were displaced by the events and more than 1,500 children lost one or both parents to the disaster.

Elderly communities were also heavily impacted, with those over the age of 60 representing over 65% of deaths since many were unable to flee to higher ground. In the aftermath of the tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear leak many elderly persons died after being abandoned in hospitals, retirement homes and their own houses. As heating and medicine ran out in evacuated areas, many perished as a result of being left alone without adequate food or resources.

Doctors of the World Japan continues to provide medical care and support local NGO’s in the affected areas. In Minamisoma and Shinchi, two towns in Fukushima prefecture, our psychiatrists and nurses work to strengthen local health services by providing counseling, primary healthcare and advocacy for those affected.

After the natural disaster and subsequent Fukushima nuclear leak, thousands were evacuated from their homes – some areas are still under an evacuation order. In the areas where the order has been lifted, only 50% of the pre-disaster populations have returned – many of the returnees are elderly people who had no other choice but to return.

In these isolated communities, cases of elderly mental illness such as dementia have increased rapidly. We now support local communities in building social outreach programs and group activity classes to assist dementia sufferers and those who are experiencing early signs and symptoms of the disease. For the latest information on our projects in Japan and around the world, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for updates.