Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and partner Dementia Alliance International (DAI) join other civil society organisations in a statement to the World Health Organization (WHO) on non-communicable diseases during and beyond the COVID-19 response.
ADI and DAI joined 34 other members of the WHO Civil Society Working Group on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in calling for a renewed focus on NCDs and mental health, including restructuring initiatives, funding patterns and partnerships. The statement calls on governments to implement the WHO Global Action Plan on NCDs and related Plans and Conventions including the WHO Global Action Plan on the public health response to dementia. It is crucial that we “build back better” health systems and minimize the disruptions to lifesaving prevention, diagnosis and care for those living with NCDs.
Crucially, the statement calls for WHO to “provide context-specific support and training for policy makers to support the integration of NCDs prevention policies and care into national COVID-19 response plans”. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the increased vulnerability of people living with NCDs, such as dementia, to the more deadly symptoms of COVID-19, but the global historic underinvestment in NCDs has compounded these challenges.
The WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs and the NCD community remains committed to elevating the voices of civil society and people living with NCDs and supporting WHO and governments during this pandemic and in the post-pandemic recovery period.