Advocacy is a powerful tool in the fight against Parkinson's disease. It involves speaking up on behalf of those affected by the disease, with the aim of bringing about positive change. Advocacy can take many forms, from lobbying governments for better healthcare policies to raising awareness in the general public.
Why advocate on behalf of Africans?
Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, including in Africa. Despite its prevalence, Parkinson's disease remains widely misunderstood, and many of those affected (especially those living in low-middle income countries) often face significant challenges in accessing the care and support they need.
We believe that advocacy is crucial in addressing these challenges and ensuring that people with Parkinson's disease in Africa receive the care and support they need. By advocating for better healthcare policies, increased funding for research, and greater public awareness, we can improve the lives of those living with Parkinson's disease in Africa.
How and with whom have we previously advocated?
In 2021, we co-produced an awareness campaign video - “Faces of Parkinson’s - Africa”, and we co-sponsored a community health walk in Uganda.
In 2022, we sponsored awareness campaigns in four different African countries (Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uganda) to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease in Africa on World Parkinson’s Day (April 11) and throughout the World Parkinson's Awareness Month.
|The Association de Neurorehabilitation Yaoundé and Parkinson Cameroon held a conference discussion to educate attendees about Parkinson's, trained healthcare professionals on Parkinson's disease management, broadcast radio and television programs, and paid home visits to Parkinson's patients.
|An awareness walk in Addis Ababa, the distribution of Parkinson's booklets, a press release, and panel discussions were among the Parkinson Patient Support Organization Ethiopia's awareness activities in April 2022.
In order to improve patient outcomes and increase access to better care, Anidaso Parkinson's Disease Foundation awareness activities included printing "Understanding Parkinson's Disease" booklets (in English and Twi), launching and distributing these booklets in 5 major hospitals in Ghana, and connecting patients to the appropriate teaching hospitals.
Parkinson’s Si Buko Uganda Parkinson’s awareness fun run with the aim of raising awareness about Parkinson’s in order to dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding the condition in Uganda and educating people that the disease is not a curse or as a result of witchcraft.
In 2023, we collaborated with the Adewunmi Desalu Parkinson's Foundation to host a walking football and Parkinson's disease tournament in Lagos, Nigeria. The tournament was a memorable event and a useful advocacy strategy since it brought attention to Parkinson's disease in a lighthearted and interesting way.
What can you do to advocate?
There are different ways to advocate for Parkinson's disease in Africa. Join Parkinson’s Africa and help us advocate for Parkinson's disease in Africa through the following:
- lobbying government officials in select countries for Parkinson's disease to be included in their healthcare agenda and for better Parkinson’s disease healthcare policies;
- educate the public, through awareness and educational campaigns, about Parkinson's disease; and
- help us equip and empower Parkinson’s disease communities across the continent to become informed and engaged communities that can advocate for themselves and engage with Parkinson’s research.
Please get in touch with us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can work collectively to advocate on behalf of Africans affected by Parkinson's disease. You can also keep an eye on our events page to see if there are any upcoming talks, events, or awareness and advocacy campaigns that we are working on. Thank you very much!