WHO global plan on dementia

The Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025 was adopted by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States at the 70th World Health Assembly in May 2017. The plan follows 10 years of advocacy for a global response to dementia by Alzheimer's Disease International and others worldwide.

The global plan aims to improve the lives of people with dementia, their families and the people who care for them, while decreasing the impact of dementia on communities and countries. It provides a comprehensive blueprint for action and sets targets across seven areas:

  1. Dementia as a public health priority
  2. Dementia awareness and friendliness
  3. Dementia risk reduction
  4. Dementia diagnosis, treatment, care and support
  5. Support for dementia carers
  6. Information systems for dementia
  7. Dementia research and innovation

ADI supports all seven areas of the plan and calls on governments worldwide, along with their partners, to act to ensure effective implementation.

ADI report marks first anniversary of the Global plan

The report provides an overview of global developments in response to the adoption of the WHO Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025.

The report was launched at a special ADI side event on the one-year anniversary of the adoption of the plan at the 71st World Health Assembly, and contains an update on the number of plans on dementia adopted and in development at the national level.

Towards a dementia plan: A WHO guide

In June 2018, WHO published a new report that contains technical guidance and recommendations for Member States to develop national plans on dementia. The first target of the Global plan urges 146 countries (75% of Member States) to develop a plan by 2025.

Global plan materials

WHO marked World Alzheimer’s Day 2017 with the publication of new materials on the Global plan, produced in partnership with ADI.

The materials include an infographic on the global impact of dementia, and information sheets on the importance of the 2017 global plan for civil society, policy makers, health and social care professionals and people living with dementia.

ADI played an active role in the development of the materials, that relate the global targets of the plan into an accessible format.


WHO has developed a tool called iSupport, recognising that caregivers of people with dementia need training and support. Support for caregivers is also a key target in the WHO Global action plan for dementia. At present iSupport is an online training programme to help caregivers provide good care and take care of themselves. A print version will be made available later in 2019.

Caregivers can tailor the programme to their personal needs and select as many lessons as they want. All lessons consist of several exercises and carers receive immediate feedback as they work through them. At the end of each lesson there is a relaxation exercise.

You can link to to iSupport here.

If you are interested in iSupport and would like to make the programme available in your country, please contact whodementia@who.int.

Adoption at the 70th World Health Assembly, May 2017

The Global plan was adopted on 29 May 2017, following the positive support of 21 governments at the World Health Assembly. You can read the decision here.

Paola Barbarino, CEO, welcomed the adoption of the plan in Geneva, stating that it marked the start of a new era for people living with dementia, their care partners and families: "I would like to thank the WHO and all the nations who have helped us get this far. We particularly welcome the recognition in the plan of the human rights of people with dementia and the potential of dementia friendly communities to give those rights practical effect."

A side event to the Assembly, 'New opportunities from the Global plan on dementia' was held ahead of the adoption of the plan, hosted by ADI, Dementia Allliance International and Global Alzheimer's and Dementia Action Alliance (GADAA) in partnership with the Swiss Federal Office of Health on 25 May 2017.

140th Session of the WHO Executive Board, January 2017

The WHO Executive Board recommended that the Draft global plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025 be put before all WHO Member States at the 70th World Health Assembly in May. The decision was made after a statement was delivered by ADI at the 140th session of the Board in Geneva.

The meeting followed the publication of a first draft of the plan in December 2016, after consultation on a 'Zero draft' of the plan by non-state actors including ADI and partners Dementia Alliance International in 2016.

ADI published a statement welcoming the draft, urging that member states prepare now to meet the targets of the plan in partnership with people with dementia, their care partners and Alzheimer associations everywhere.

Joint response to the Global plan, October 2016

ADI and other key stakeholders including people with dementia were consulted on 7 key areas of the plan, including dementia treatment and research, improving awareness, dementia friendliness, risk reduction, information and care and support.

ADI, Dementia Alliance International (DAI), Alzheimer Europe and Global Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Alliance (GADAA) submitted a joint formal response to the plan in October 2016, including feedback from more than 40 Alzheimer associations in Sub Saharan Africa, the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Presentations and articles

A number of presentations and articles have been made on the importance of the Global plan by ADI staff and representatives of Alzheimer associations.

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