Sally Yalley

MSc Dementia Studies


Sally Yalley

The course has helped me create change.

My interest in dementia began at medical school in Ghana, where I ran a project on services for older people in Ghana.

I realised during my research that dementia was projected to increase, and in particular in sub-Saharan Africa. That, coupled with the limited services and trained personnel in the field, inspired me to learn more about dementia to be able to make a difference in my country and the subregion.

At Alzheimer’s Ghana, where I am a volunteer, I head up advocacy and support, raising awareness of a condition which often takes a backseat to other health and social issues when it comes to policy.

Studying at the University of Stirling was an eye-opener for me, both to dementia and to how other countries deal with it. Scotland has been particularly exemplary in developing policies and executing strategies for persons with dementia and their care partners.

The MSc at Stirling uniquely focuses on persons with dementia and what is important to them at every stage of the course, which allows professionals to see dementia in a whole new light.

The fact that the MSc is completely online meant Sally could continue to work full-time while she studied. She received a generous scholarship from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, which covered the costs of the programme.

The MSc in Dementia attracts people from all over the world and many disciplines, which gave me the opportunity to appreciate a very diverse perspective on dementia care, and connect with professionals from different countries. The course content has put me in a better place to promote change in my work at the University of Ghana Medical Centre.

I credit the MSc with helping me be accepted as the first Ghanaian to receive a prestigious Atlantic Fellowship for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute. I am particularly grateful to Stirling’s Professor Louise McCabe, who has been a great mentor and offered support and guidance throughout my studies.

Ghana has made strides in health and social policies for older people in general, and while awareness about dementia is increasing, a specific plan and policy for dementia is needed.