In 2017, all 194 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) unanimously adopted the Global Action Plan on the public health response to dementia, with a primary aim for countries to adopt and implement National Dementia Plans (NDP).
However, as outlined in the most recent From Plan to Impact report, Member States have been far too slow to act, with only around a third of countries having implemented a NDP – falling far short of the 75% target by 2025. In response, ADI launched the direct action #WhatsYourPlan campaign in November 2021, in collaboration with ADI members, with the single minded aim of galvanising governments to act on their 2017 commitment.
In the past year of the #WhatsYourPlan campaign, ADI is pleased to share that there has been considerable progress in expediting progress towards the targets of the WHO Global Action Plan. Since the launch of the campaign, 20 additional countries have committed to developing an NDP, over half of the number already in existence.
This comes following the deployment of over 200 official correspondences to members of government, across 52 participating countries, resulting in 29 ministerial meetings.
ADI CEO Paola Barbarino said: “I am incredibly proud of what ADI and our member associations have achieved over the last year with the #WhatsYourPlan campaign.”
Twenty commitments to develop new National Dementia Plans is a widely promising step in the direction towards the targets of the WHO Global Action Plan. However, the reality is we will need to redouble our efforts in 2023 to bridge the gap in national plans, as we approach the final two years, to the 2025 target date, more than 150 countries are still to develop their plans.
One of the first successes of the campaign was the unanimous decision of the Brazilian Senate to pass a National Law of Care for those living with dementia on 16 November 2022, a monumental step which brings the country closer to developing and adopting a National Dementia Plan.
A joint letter by ADI and Federação Brasileira das Associações de Alzheimer (FEBRAZ) was sent to all members of the Senate ahead of the meeting, with its contents forming part of the debate.
On the decision by the Senate, Elaine Mateus, President of FEBRAZ said:
The #WhatsYourPlan campaign helped us speed up the progress of the National Dementia Plan in Brazil and aided in the Senate’s unanimous decision to pass the National Law of Care for people living with dementia, which is now being discussed and improved at the Chamber of Deputies. FEBRAZ and ADI will keep working together to accelerate the definite approval of the bill and its funding.
We are expecting National Dementia Plans to launch in Armenia, Malaysia and Uruguay in early 2023, and we will monitor encouraging progress in Bonaire, Brazil, Cost Rica, Dominica, Iran, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates and Ukraine.
A crucial aspect of the campaign has been the engagement with key stakeholders across the world, bringing expertise and motivation to the table. At a global and regional level, ADI is working closely with WHO offices and in 2023, will focus attention on how to further provide technical support, as we push for the prioritisation of National Dementia Plan development.
Chris Lynch, ADI Deputy CEO who is leading on the campaign, said:
The combination of direct action and collaboration is key to our engagement with governments. The next step is to galvanise the voices of the public and all of those people affected by dementia, to add weight to the campaign and to demand of their governments #WhatsYourPlan.
Early in 2023, ADI alongside its member associations will add the voice of people affected by dementia in a regional awareness raising campaign in the Caribbean. Multiple countries and states will join forces to amplify the call for their governments to develop, launch and deploy National Dementia Plans.
As we rapidly approach the 2025 deadline, we will continue to ask: #WhatsYourPlan?.