ADI urges global action on dementia

21 September 2015 – On World Alzheimer’s Day, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) Member States to adopt a resolution on dementia, in light of recent findings that more than 131 million people will be living with dementia by 2050.

ADI is also calling for dementia to be included in international development aid programmes to support low and middle income nations, countries which will account for 68% of the total global prevalence by the middle of the century.

It has been 6 months since the landmark World Health Organisation (WHO) Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia, where 80 countries signed a global call for action on dementia. In that time, it is estimated around 5 million more people will have developed dementia, one every 3 seconds.

While this event resulted in the most significant expression of commitment to action on dementia to date, the WHO is yet to reach a resolution which would commit countries to make dementia a national health priority.

On World Alzheimer’s Day, ADI is urging the WHO to turn words in action, scaling up their previous commitments to help support people living with dementia around the world. ADI believes that a global action plan would provide a framework within which WHO Member States could increase awareness of dementia, improve diagnosis rates and increase access to post-diagnostic dementia services, provide support for caregivers and make a commitment to person-centred care for people living with dementia, among others.

ADI is also calling for a significant increase in investment into the care, treatment, prevention and cure of dementia. ADI supports a target of 1% of the global cost of dementia for dementia research, which currently stands at US $818 billion, a figure that has increased by over $200 billion since previous estimates were made in 2010.

Glenn Rees, Chairman of ADI, commented: “By the end of the year, more than 9 million people will have developed dementia. The only way to meet this challenge is through coordinated global action. We commend the UK government through the G7 for taking the lead in the establishing a global momentum, but now it is vital other governments stand up and turn words into action.”

World Alzheimer’s Day marks the pinnacle of World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge dementia stigma. Over the course of the day and the rest of September, thousands of activities will be taking place all around the world, organised by national Alzheimer associations.

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