WHO Global action plan on dementia

The global plan aims to improve the lives of people with dementia, their families and the people who care for them, while decreasing the impact of dementia on communities and countries.

The Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025 was adopted by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States at the 70th World Health Assembly in May 2017.

The plan followed 10 years of advocacy for a global response to dementia by Alzheimer’s Disease International and others worldwide.

The global plan aims to improve the lives of people with dementia, their families and the people who care for them, while decreasing the impact of dementia on communities and countries. It provides a comprehensive blueprint for action and sets targets across seven areas:

  • Dementia as a public health priority
  • Dementia awareness and friendliness
  • Dementia risk reduction
  • Dementia diagnosis, treatment, care and support
  • Support for dementia carers
  • Information systems for dementia
  • Dementia research and innovation

ADI supports all seven areas of the plan and calls on governments worldwide, along with their partners, to act to ensure effective implementation.

Towards a dementia plan: A WHO guide

In June 2018, WHO published a new report that contains technical guidance and recommendations for Member States to develop national plans on dementia. The first target of the Global plan urges 146 countries (75% of Member States) to develop a plan by 2025.

From Plan to Impact reports – progress towards the Global action plan on dementia 

Each year ADI generates a From plan to impact report looking at progress towards the Global action plan on dementia, showcasing good practice, identifying barriers and enablers and focusing attention on the commitment all 194 WHO Members States made in adopting the Plan.

Global plan materials

WHO marked World Alzheimer’s Day 2017 with the publication of new materials on the Global plan, produced in partnership with ADI.

The materials include an infographic on the global impact of dementia, and information sheets on the importance of the 2017 global plan for civil society, policy makers, health and social care professionals and people living with dementia.

ADI played an active role in the development of the materials, that relate the global targets of the plan into an accessible format.

Action in Europe

In 2006, the members of Alzheimer Europe signed a common declaration calling for action by the European Union, the World Health Organization (WHO) and national governments to recognise Alzheimer’s disease as a major public health challenge and to develop European, International and national action programmes.

In 2008, during the French presidency of the EU, a major step forward to achieve European collaboration on Alzheimer’s disease was made at the conference “The fight against Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders”. Organised by the French Presidency of the European Union and hosted by Health Minister, Roselyne Bachelot, the conference drew unprecedented attention to the plight of the 6.1 million people with dementia in Europe, as well as their carers, by having the support of not only national ministers the President himself.

This led to the European Council declaration in late 2008 and a European Parliament declaration affirming priorities in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Ultimately this has resulted in joint programming and a European Alzheimer’s Initiative.

These initiatives have been endorsed and amplified by adoption of a European parliament resolution in January 2011 which calls for EU Member States to develop specific national plans and strategies for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Alzheimer Europe have information about plans in Europe on their website.


WHO has developed a tool called iSupport, recognising that caregivers of people with dementia need training and support. Support for caregivers is also a key target in the WHO Global action plan for dementia. At present, iSupport is an mainly online training programme to help caregivers provide good care and take care of themselves, although there are plans to introduce some language specific print versions.

Caregivers can tailor the programme to their personal needs and select as many lessons as they want. All lessons consist of several exercises and carers receive immediate feedback as they work through them. At the end of each lesson there is a relaxation exercise.

More information about iSupport is available from WHO.

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Find more information about Global action plan here.

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