In November 2021, ADI officially launched the campaign #WhatsYourPlan, aiming to galvanise governments to develop, fund and implement national dementia plans in their countries. Since the universal adoption of the WHO Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025, uptake on the implementation of national dementia plans and strategies has sadly been far too slow.
Currently, only 37 Member States have national dementia plans, falling far short of the 146 target (75% of Member States), by 2025.
As we pass the halfway point of the global plan, this campaign aims to install a reinvigorated sense of urgency and necessity in governments, which are currently failing to uphold their commitment and thus their promise to provide adequate diagnosis, treatment, research, care and support to those living with dementia.
Though the campaign is only in the early stages, it has already seen some striking success. In the last week, the Brazilian Senate unanimously passed the National Law of Care of People with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, with a joint letter from ADI and our member: Federação Brasileira das Associações de Alzheimer (FEBRAZ), being read during the debate. ADI and FEBRAZ will continue their advocacy as the proposed Law moves to the Lower House/Chamber of Deputies.
Paola Barbarino, ADI CEO said: “I am delighted that that the Brazilian Senate unanimously passed this crucial law. It is estimated that as many as 1.5 million people are currently living with dementia in Brazil. This law will go some way to improving the lives of those living with dementia and their carers and I urge the Lower House/Chamber of Deputies to not hinder its progress. ADI and our members look forward to eventually seeing a funded national dementia plan in Brazil and praise our Brazil member FEBRAZ for their tireless effort in this direction.”
Other early campaign successes include Costa Rica’s ‘Consejo de Salud Mental’ committing to fund a national dementia plan and Cameroon’s Director of Mental Health requesting a meeting with ADI and Association Comprendre la Maladie d’Alzheimer (A.C.M.A).
Over the next 6 months, ADI will continue to work with its members and partners to reach out directly to governments. Governments that fail to engage will be targeted with a social and traditional media campaign, featuring the hashtag #WhatsYourPlan, and we will ask all our members, friends and colleagues working in the fields of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to take part in adding their voices to help the campaign gain further traction.
It is only through a collaborative approach with all stakeholders, including carers, people living with dementia and civil society organisations, that governments can lead on developing robust national dementia plans in their countries. ADI will continue to monitor and report on national plan progress through our ‘From plan to impact’ reports, with a timely update scheduled for World Health Assembly, May 2022.
This campaign could not be more timely. The globally ageing population, the emergence of new treatments and new diagnostics, and the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic mean that national dementia plans have never been more vital.