On 9 March, ADI was invited to speak about overcoming policy barriers at a regional policy brief round table discussion which was hosted by the Institute on Aging, University of The Philippines. The meeting was led by Dr. Shelley Ann de la Vega, Project Leader for the World Health Organization (WHO) Dementia COVID-19 Project and Director of Institute on Ageing, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines in Manila.
The aim of the discussion centred around developing a regional policy brief on promoting, protecting and restoring the mental health of older adults with focus on dementia awareness and risk reduction.
DY Suharya, ADI’s Asia Pacific Regional Director, took the opportunity to suggest ADI members in the Asia Pacific region be invited. As such, Maree McCabe and Prof Leon Flicker of Dementia Australia, Prof Huali Wang of Alzheimer’s Disease Chinese (ADC), Dr Tuan Nguyen of Vietnam Alzheimer Disease & Neurocognitive Disorders Association (VnADA), Dr Michelle Anlacan of Alzheimer’s Disease Association of the Philippines (ADAP) and Samiana Langi of Huelo Alzheimer’s Tonga took part in the discussions. Dr Maw Pin Tan, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia, supporting Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia (ADFM) and Prof Dr Siti Setiati, Indonesian Geriatric Society and Faculty of Medicine University of Indonesia, supporting Alzheimer’s Indonesia, also joined.
Maree McCabe, CEO of Dementia Australia, said: “It is heartening to see the development of dementia policy globally, and now that the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality Standards have been handed down these will help form the basis of a renewed Dementia Action Plan for Australia.”
Martin Vandendyck of the WHO WPRO Mental Health Division welcomed all representatives and presented the context of discussions while Dr de la Vega presented the results of Dementia Policy Country Survey and Regional Policy Brief Scoping Paper that was compiled from all countries in the region.
The discussions held during the meeting will influence the policy brief that eventually will be included in the agenda at the WHO meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in July 2021.