Alzheimer’s Disease International is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), the special agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
ADI collaborated with the WHO to produce the Help for caregivers booklet, which ADI and the WHO distribute. WHO also supported the launch of World Alzheimer’s Day in 1998. ADI has been in official relations with the WHO since 1996.
In 2001, the Director General of WHO selected mental health as the theme of World Health Day. The selection of that theme recognises the impact of mental disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. ADI delivered a statement at the official launch of World Health Day. Nori Graham, then Chairman of ADI, took the opportunity to remind people that dementia is a global problem and that two out of three people with dementia live in developing countries. ADI also assisted the WHO with the dementia component of the World Health Report, launched in June 2001.
ADI and the WHO worked together to achieve funding for 10/66 Dementia Research Group’s Three Continents programme to develop and evaluate feasible community interventions for caregivers of people with dementia.
In April 2012, WHO published the report ‘Dementia: a public health priority’ in collaboration with ADI. The report provided an authoritative overview of the impact of dementia worldwide. The release of the report highlighted the commitment of the WHO to making dementia a global health priority.
In September 2012, ADI submitted a response to a discussion paper on the WHO Global Action Plan on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). ADI called strongly for recognition of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as a major NCD alongside diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease, and advocated for over a decade alongside other civil society organisations for a global response to dementia.
In May 2017 the ‘Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025‘ was unanimously adopted by WHO’s 194 Member States at the 70th World Health Assembly. On the anniversary of the adoption of the Global action plan, ADI publishes a From plan to impact report, reviewing progress towards the 2025 targets.
ADI continues to work closely with the Brain Health Unit within the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to ensure dementia remains a global priority in every country. In addition, ADI is part of the WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs.