The World Parkinson’s Program is a Canadian not-for-profit charitable global organization, founded by world renowned Canadian neurologist, Dr. A.Q.Rana, in 2008. Our mission is to improve the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s disease through education, advocacy, and providing free medication and supportive services. Our core belief is that every individual with Parkinson’s disease should have access to medication, education and any other supportive services that will improve their quality of life regardless of where they are in the world.
Barriers Faced by People with Parkinson’s Globally
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects all races and occurs in all parts of the world. There are gaps in access to treatment, education, and additional supportive services around the world that was not being addressed. Health literacy, socioeconomic status, education, personal/social attitudes, participation in health education programs, and individual beliefs about health practices have a great impact on the management of chronic illnesses, such as Parkinson’s. Furthermore, adequate management of Parkinson’s disease is impacted more for those living in developing countries, those part of minority populations (i.e. Indigenous Peoples, religious minorities, ethnic minorities, caste minorities, etc.), those living in extreme poverty, and those living in rural areas. In order to address these clear gaps, Dr. A.Q. Rana founded the World Parkinson’s Program in 2008 to primarily provide FREE medications and FREE education to those individuals in need TODAY regardless of where they are and who they are.
Poverty is an unfortunate reality for any individuals with Parkinson’s across the globe, especially those in developing nations. These individuals are unable to access primary care and thus are unable to get a diagnosis and treatment. If they do have access to a neurologist that is able to diagnose them, they unable to buy their medications due to the cost. They also cannot afford crucial supportive services such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, dental services and others. These are all services that are imperative in ensuring proper management of Parkinson’s disease and improving the quality of life.
People with Parkinson’s may also require assistive devices to help with some of the symptoms they are experiencing. There are many individuals who have a balance problem and are at risk of falling; these people require walkers, canes, or even wheelchairs to prevent serious injury. However, if they are living in poverty, they cannot afford this necessary device. Other devices people may require include: a heating pad to ease pain and electric tooth brush to for dental hygiene.
Dr. A.Q.Rana has emphasized that the delivery of medical care to people with Parkinson’s should not affected by their current financial situation or lack of education.
Some patients belonging to certain minorities may not have access to educational literature about Parkinson’s disease in their native language. Thus due to lack of education they are not able to learn sufficiently about Parkinson’s disease from resources in other languages. Also, they may not benefit fully from the educational seminars, and thus feel left out, which not only affects their care, but also is an obstacle in learning about Parkinson’s disease and leads to social isolation.
This is the only global program which supplies Parkinson’s disease educational literature in more than 12 languages, provides medications, walkers, canes, wheelchairs, electric tooth brushes as well as other supportive services and reaches various communities around the world. World Parkinson’s program aims to help Parkinson’s patients in all parts of the world to get the best medical care by providing education in native languages, healthcare supplies, as well as other supportive medical services. Following are the various services of World Parkinson’s Program.
Those patients living in underprivileged parts of the world and suffering from poverty can’t afford buying their medications for Parkinson’s disease, devices such as canes, walkers, or wheel chairs to help them prevent falling. Many Parkinson’s patients have difficulty using manual tooth brush but not able to afford buying an electric tooth brush. We aim to provide Parkinson’s disease medications, walkers, canes or wheelchairs and electric tooth brushes to those affected with poverty and in need.
About 70% of Parkinson’s patients fall each year and 13% fall more than once a week. “Falls not only lead to loss of independence, but also cause serious injuries such as fractures. Falls may require hospitalization resulting in many complications” says Dr. Bashir Alenazi, an orthopedic consultant and supporter of World Parkinson’s Program. Our Fall Prevention Campaign aims to prevent Parkinson’s sufferers from falling by educating them, facilitating gait and balance training as well as donating walkers, canes and wheelchair to those who can ‘t afford these devices.
Due to lack of proper information, many Parkinson’s patients and caregivers may not know how to manage Parkinson’s symptoms effectively. We provide educational brochures, CDs, handbooks, lectures, and other informational material about Parkinson’s disease in various languages. Currently our Parkinson’s disease brochures are used in more than fifty countries.
Many Parkinson’s patients in different parts of the world can’t afford to pay for consulting a neurologist, physiotherapist or other healthcare professionals. World Parkinson’s Program aims to establish free Parkinson’s clinics, where Parkinson’s patients who can not afford to pay for medical treatment, are seen by neurologist, receive medications and other necessary healthcare supplies free of charge.
In addition, many patients living in underdeveloped countries may not know where and how to get help from. There is a huge disparity of medical services and treatment facilities between various parts the world due to poverty, lack of education and medical technology and resources. We aim to establish a network of healthcare professionals and facilities such as neurologists or neuro-physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, massage therapists, exercise classes, gym or fitness programs, dietitians, social workers, dentists, and pharmacies that have special expertise to provide these services to Parkinson’s patients.
World Parkinson’s Program aims to establish Parkinson’s Education Clubs which will meet regularly and participants including patients, caregivers, and members of Parkinson’s Community will share or discuss their experiences and ways to deal with the day to day problems faced by Parkinson’s community. Establishing the Parkinson’s Education Clubs in all major cities and communities around the world was the vision of Dr. Rana, the founder of World Parkinson’s Program.
Due to lack of proper information, many Parkinson’s patients and caregivers may not know how to manage Parkinson’s symptoms effectively. We run Parkinson’s Education Campaigns about unmet needs of Parkinson’s disease in different continents, regions or countries around the world. We also provide educational brochures about conditions related to Parkinson’s disease such as Restless Legs Syndrome in various languages
Our other educational services include
Acknowledging Parkinson’s Centers – World Parkinson’s Program acknowledges healthcare facilities, clinics, outreach community programs that specialize in providing medical care, education and other support to patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Rana International Parkinson’s Community Service Award – Every year the World Parkinson’s Program honors outstanding individuals who are committed to improving the quality of life of individuals with Parkinson’s disease with the Dr Rana International Parkinson’s Community Service Award.
Chapters of World Parkinson’s Program in various countries around the world. Supporting all national and international organizations with the aim of promoting cause of Parkinson’s disease .
World Parkinson’s Program aims to establish free Parkinson’s Clinics throughout the world, in particular in the underdeveloped countries with lack of proper healthcare resources. These free clinics will not only provide education about Parkinson’s disease, but also will have facilities where patients can consult neurologists, physiotherapists, speech therapists,attend exercise classes, and get medications free of charge.The Parkinson’s Education Clubs will meet in these centers. This was the vision of Dr. Rana, the founder of World Parkinson’s Program, when he started the World Parkinson’s Program.These centers will provide all supportive services including medical care, education and other healthcare supplies to patients with Parkinson’s disease.