Global Dementia Observatory launched by WHO

8 December 2017 – The World Health Organization (WHO) have launched a Global Dementia Observatory to track worldwide impact and responses to dementia. The commencement of the Observatory follows the adoption of a Global plan on dementia by 194 governments of the WHO in May and will greatly enhance the ability of stakeholders everywhere to support advances in awareness and research.

Dementia affects 50 million people and will cost the global economy over a trillion US dollars in 2018. By 2050, the number of people living with dementia is expected to triple with the majority of individuals affected in low and middle income counties. ADI has been actively involved in the development of the Global Observatory by the WHO, that will compile and monitor significant data on the disease, diagnosis, access to resources, policy and care and support for those affected.

21 countries have so far provided data for the Observatory and this is expected to increase to over 50 countries in 2018. Only 3 countries are able to indicate the number of people who have received a diagnosis, highlighting a critical need for greater awareness, infrastructure and support. ADI’s World Alzheimer Report 2016 suggests as few as 10% of those in low and middle income countries receive a diagnosis.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, said, “We must pay greater attention to this growing challenge and ensure that all people living with dementia, wherever they live, get the care that they need."

The Observatory will provide a vital knowledge database where medical professionals, researchers, civil society and others will be able to access the largest collection of up to date information on dementia, listed by country and region. Information from the Observatory will greatly aid the development of national plans on dementia in more countries – a key call from ADI that is supported by the Global plan.

Paola Barbarino, CEO of ADI, said, “We welcome this timely and important resource. It will be vital to monitor and share progress as countries work towards the targets in the Global action plan and the overarching goal of creating and delivering effective national dementia plans.”

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