A look back at 2016

A message from Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of ADI

19 December 2016 - 2016 was another busy year for Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), as we continued to work alongside Alzheimer associations worldwide to make dementia a global health priority. These achievements support our vision of prevention, care and inclusion today, and cure tomorrow. It is hoped that a Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will further support this goal in 2017. 

In April, ADI's 31st International Conference in Budapest, Hungary was attended by a thousand delegates from 70 countries in a diverse programme including the latest developments in dementia science, research and care. Conferences were also held during 2016 in the Caribbean, Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific regions and ADI staff participated in numerous other events, including the 26th Alzheimer Europe Conference.

ADI’s new Strategic Plan was launched at the ADI Council meeting, which also welcomed new member associations from Ghana and the Cayman Islands as the 84th and 85th Alzheimer associations to join ADI. At the meeting, ADI adopted a rights-based approach in future advocacy efforts that have seen us strengthen our joint efforts with partners Dementia Alliance International (DAI).

In May 2016, the World Health Organization’s Executive Board unanimously voted in favour of developing a Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia following the involvement of ADI and 12 countries at a successful side event on dementia during the 69th World Health Assembly and, in October 2016, ADI, Members of ADI and partners submitted a formal joint response to the Zero Draft of the plan. A Global Action Plan will urge a greater commitment by governments worldwide to develop and improve National Dementia Plans, care and support for people with dementia, including the involvement of people with dementia and Alzheimer associations globally.

Over the past year ADI has also launched several publications, including twin reports  on Dementia Friendly Communities: Key principles and Global examples, as well as and updated versions of Influencing public policy and Help for care partners of people with dementia.

The World Alzheimer Report 2016; Improving healthcare for people living with dementia was launched during World Alzheimer’s Month, calling for more emphasis on primary healthcare for dementia as part of better integrated and coordinated services for people with dementia.

During August, we welcomed Alzheimer associations from across the globe to our annual Alzheimer University training programme in London, and throughout the year, carer training and ADI Alzheimer University training for developing associations was also held in Greece, Malaysia and New Zealand.

ADI and DAI also released a joint policy paper, Access to the CRPD and SDGs by Persons with Dementia, and this was followed by a joint statement at an official side event to the 16th Session of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee meeting in Geneva.

A brand new website was developed for the annual World Alzheimer's Month campaign in September, which had the theme 'Remember Me'. The month was marked by campaigns in over 70 countries in 2016, and continues to improve global understanding and awareness of dementia, thanks to the efforts of Alzheimer associations worldwide.

Goverment Plans on Dementia were launched this year in several countries, bringing the global total to 29. Alzheimer associations continue to be the driving force behind these policies, which go a long way to securing investment in dementia care and provision for the future.

As part of our continued work with partners around the globe, an official Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Alzheimer Europe in November 2016, highlighting key areas of collaboration.  

As we look towards the coming year, we should also take a moment to reflect on those we lost in 2016,  who will be dearly missed. We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your support and friendship over the year and we look forward to continued progress in 2017.

We hope to see many of you in Kyoto, Japan for ADI's 32nd International Conference in April.

On behalf of the ADI team, I wish you all the best for 2017.