Alzheimer’s Disease International

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases

In the continued absence of an effective disease-modifying treatment, we call on governments to implement risk reduction interventions to reduce or delay onset of dementia.

We are encouraged by the inclusion of mental and neurological conditions in the extended ‘5 x 5 approach’ and by the continuation of the WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs, with ADI’s participation, for another two years. However, an ongoing challenge is to ensure that dementia is explicitly recognised in both these areas.

We welcome the launch of the WHO report on risk reduction of dementia but emphasise the need for distribution, communication and response to these guidelines and for ongoing research in this area. Risk reduction strategies take time to implement, and simultaneously governments must provide adequate services for people living with dementia across the continuum of care; from timely diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, through to the complex advanced illness stage and palliative care.

50 million people live with dementia, with figures forecast to increase to 152 million by 2050. Global costs estimates are currently US$1 trillion; a figure set to double by 2030.

At a side event of this World Health Assembly, ADI launched a report on progress towards the targets of the Global action plan on dementia, which shows that progress in the development on national plans is still alarmingly slow.

In preparation for the G20, ADI ensured that a strong call for funded national dementia plans was included in the policy pack. The inclusion of healthy ageing and dementia at the G20 would bring much needed focus to Member States ahead of the first reporting cycle for the Global plan in 2020. With the HLM on NCDs taking place in 2025 – the same year as the Global plan on dementia is due to report, this should be an opportunity for alignment and we look forward to seeing the report on the progress achieved in the implementation of the present political declaration on NCDs.