Great news for mental health today, as billionaire philanthropist donates $177 million to fight dementia. Irish-American billionaire Charles “Chuck” Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies, announces he will donate part of his fortune to the University of California in San Francisco, and to the Trinity College in Dublin in order to establish a world-wide mental health movement.
The goal is to establish GBHI, or the Global Brain Health Institute, which will handle the training of 600 global leaders around the world, over the next 15 years, in order to stop or at least slow down the rapidly increasing number of dementia patients.
Enda Kenny, Irish Prime-Minister, praised the billionaire and his Atlantic Philanthropies foundation for their excellent work and support in the biomedical area, stating that thanks to him, Ireland is now closer to becoming the best place in the World in which to grow old.
Along with the direct health benefits that will be provided by the generous donation, the establishment of the GBHI will provide hundreds, if not thousands of jobs throughout Ireland and the U.S.
Dementia is a cognitive degenerative disease of the brain, and the number of cases registered worldwide is growing at an alarming rate. It currently affects 48 million people worldwide, a figure that will double for every decade the issue remains un-tackled.
It is revealed that with proper research and development teams around the world, anywhere between 3 and 20 percent of dementia cases could be prevented.
The disease consumes the patient’s mind, and wreaks havoc on his or her loved ones, as they are forced to watch him or her suffer and die, all while progressively forgetting who and what everyone and everything is.
The global cost of dementia is absurdly high, costing $818 billion this year alone, a number that will surpass $2 trillion in next 15 years if nothing is to be done about it. One of the most common forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s, currently claims 5.3 million Americans, according to CDC, and one of the top 10 causes of death.
Irish-American billionaire Charles “Chuck” Feeney has always believed that those with money should help the less fortunate. He started his foundation in 1982, and in the meantime has given over $7 billion dollars to different foundation around the world.
His goal is to bring lasting change to the lives of the less fortunate, focusing on health, peace, education, and worldwide understanding.
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