World governments are failing to address the dementia crisis according to a new report from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI).
On the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025, the primary target to have 146 of the 194 Member States develop a national response plan to dementia, is falling further behind.
Globally only 31 national plans exist, including just 26 WHO Member States, while up to 34 are in development. In the last two years only two countries (Chile and Qatar) have created plans, meaning at the current rate the 2025 target will not be reached.
Two years on from the commitment made by 194 countries at the World Health Assembly, the pace of progress is still too slow. World governments must recognize the crisis we’re facing now and proactively work to ensure they’re prepared for the dementia emergency at a national level.
Some governments are doing well, creating, funding, deploying and monitoring plans that are world leading and can inspire other, including Japan, South Korea, England and Scotland, but it is not enough. National plans on dementia take time to develop and are essential in achieving the tangible actions required to improve the lives of people with dementia, their families and care partners.
We are seeing development in keys areas like risk reduction research, however, the search for disease modifying treatments continues to be underfunded and the application of better care interventions remains elusive. In the meantime, millions of people living with dementia and their families are under terrible strain.”
Paola Barbarino, CEO of ADI
The recommendations come from a report by ADI, which was released at its official side event to the 72nd World Health Assembly, “Why we all need to do more: Examining the seven action areas of the Global action plan on dementia”.
In 2017, the WHO adopted the Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025 at the 70th World Health Assembly. The first target in the Global action plan is for 75 per cent of WHO’s 194 Member States to have developed or updated national policies, strategies, plans or frameworks for dementia by 2025.