WHO launches global status report on public health response to dementia

This report reviews progress towards the implementation of the 7 action areas of the plan by Member States, WHO and civil society, and all those involved in tackling the dementia pandemic.

At the halfway stage of the Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025 the World Health Organization (WHO) have released the Global Status Report on the public health response to dementia. This report reviews progress towards the implementation of the 7 action areas of the plan by Member States, WHO and civil society, and all those involved in tackling the dementia pandemic. Unfortunately, despite some excellent progress in key areas, many of the targets are behind schedule, especially the development of national dementia plans.

ADI’s annual ‘From plan to impact’ report shines a light on many of the same barriers to progress, with ADI continuing to call on governments globally to make good of their commitment in universally adopting the WHO Global action plan on dementia and to deliver national, strategic responses.

Alongside representatives from WHO Member States, ADI CEO Paola Barbarino was invited to participate in the launch of the status report, where she called on all Member States to deliver on their commitment to adopting the WHO Global action plan and to finds ways to accelerate towards achieving the targets on the plan.

The report also contains updated forecasts on the prevalence and global cost of dementia, estimating that there are currently over 55 million people living with dementia worldwide, a number projected to rise to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050. The global costs of dementia are also expected to rise from US$1.3 trillion to US$2.8 trillion by 2030.

While prevalence data may appear reduced compared to previous estimates, it is important to note that this variation is mainly due to methodological differences (such as the source of the data assumptions and updated UN population data) rather than an actual decline. Cases are still growing exponentially, especially in low- and middle- income countries.

Global Dementia Observatory (GDO) data from 62 countries has helped shape the report. The GDO collates data from WHO Member States on 35 key indicators and together, these indicators can be used to monitor progress towards the seven areas of the Global action plan on Dementia in each country. The GDO is an excellent tool and opportunity for advocates, those living with dementia, their family and carers, researchers, scientists, health and care professionals and Alzheimer’s or dementia associations to check their governments progress towards their commitment to adopting the WHO Global action plan on dementia. However, much more data is required to make the GDO the robust tool it can and should be, and national Alzheimer and dementia associations can play a critical role in both checking data, as well assisting governments in data collation.

Read the report

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