China adopts a national dementia plan

11 September 2020 – A national dementia plan for China has been officially launched as a part of China’s Action Plan for Healthy China 2030. The national plan is the 34th plan to be adopted globally.

The Action Plan for Healthy China 2030 was officially announced on 1 September 2020, at the beginning of World Alzheimer’s Month, and stipulated that a community comprehensive prevention and treatment plan for Alzheimer’s should be created by the Health Commission by the end of the month. The Dementia action plan has now been distributed internally to the demonstration sites. The Action Plan for Healthy China 2030 also includes provision for dementia and services to support older people’s mental health, which complements the plan on dementia.

The dementia plan’s scope ranges across the seven action areas of the WHO’s Global action plan on dementia; from risk reduction and slowing of cognitive decline, providing family respite and encouraging social psychological service systems. By 2022, the plan aims to increase public awareness of the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease to 80 per cent, in part building on opportunities such as World Alzheimer’s Month and World Mental Health Day. The health departments of the pilot areas shall take the lead in setting up expert working groups to provide technical support and guidance for the pilot work. They will carry out multi-level training on the prevention and treatment of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

As the most populous country in the world, this announcement carries significant weight for those affected by dementia everywhere.

ADI extends a huge congratulations to our member Professor Huali Wang and her team at Alzheimer’s Disease Chinese (ADC), who worked closely with the government to bring this plan to life.

Professor Huali Wang said: “This is exciting for people living with dementia, their families, and the whole society. Aiming to improve access to timely diagnosis, treatment, and support for people living with dementia, the Plan encourages all relevant stakeholders to collaborate with multidisciplinary and multi-level teams. We also thank WHO and ADI for their decades-long support.”

ADI’s Chief Executive Paola Barbarino said: “This is a momentous moment for people living with dementia and their families everywhere. To see a fourth country adopt a national plan on dementia during a global pandemic speaks to the importance of investing in the millions of people impacted by dementia, who’s challenges have only been increased due to COVID-19. A huge congratulations to Professor Wang – it is with this commitment and dynamism that we can achieve great things – things that are absolutely crucial to support people affected by dementia.”

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