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Global Efforts

Worldwide, an estimated 47 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. That number is expected to grow to 131.5 million by 2050. Nations across the globe are uniting against Alzheimer’s and coordinating an international response to the mounting dementia crisis.

The time to act is now. Every four seconds another person in the world is diagnosed with dementia. It will truly take a global effort to ensure a world without Alzheimer’s.


Looking for global – and country-specific – resources for those with the disease, their families and caregivers? Visit our global resources page at alz.org/global.

National Plans

Globally, 30 countries have drafted and adopted a national plan to address Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. These plans elevate Alzheimer’s as a national priority and provide the framework for overcoming this growing epidemic.

National plans vary significantly country-to-country, tailoring the framework to meet the needs of their own unique populations. Nonetheless, they all coordinate across governmental agencies, outline treatment and care recommendations, and often, provide an accountability mechanism for reporting on progress and setbacks. They commit a country to take action against Alzheimer’s and provide the guidance and recommendations to do so.

ADI logo

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is the federation of international Alzheimer’s associations and societies. The Alzheimer’s Association helped to create ADI 30 years ago. Now with more than 80 member countries on six continents, ADI focuses global attention on the growing dementia epidemic while campaigning for policy change from national governments and the World Health Organization. ADI works to raise international awareness, develop dementia-capable countries, and improve the quality of life for people living with dementia around the world.

The following countries have adopted a national plan to address Alzheimer’s:

2004: Australia 2013: Israel
2006: South Korea   Luxembourg
2007: Norway   Switzerland
2008: France   Taiwan
  Netherlands 2014: Costa Rica
2009: England   Cuba
2010: Denmark   Mexico
  Scotland   Italy
2011: Northern Ireland   Greece
  Wales   Ireland
2012: Finland 2015: Malta
  United States   Indonesia
  Japan 2016: Czech Republic
      Argentina
      Slovenia
    2017: Macau
      Canada

 

Many other countries across the globe are currently working on their own response to Alzheimer’s disease. For additional information and specific countries’ plans, see Government Alzheimer’s Plans on the ADI web site.

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World Health Organization

In May 2017, the 70th World Health Assembly — the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO) — adopted the first-ever worldwide plan on Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments: Global Plan of Action on the Public Health Response to Dementia, 2017-2025. 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 plan calls on members states to develop ambitious national strategies and implementation plans that reduce the risk of dementia, improve treatment and care, support research and innovative technologies, and develop supportive environments for care partners across the globe.

The Plan of Action calls on the WHO Secretariat to offer technical support, tools, and guidance to member states as they build and strengthen national and subnational plans to address Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The plan also calls for a global research agenda to coordinate research efforts around the world and enhance innovation within the field.

The Global Plan of Action continues the momentum generated from previous WHO efforts on dementia. In March 2015, the WHO held the first Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia where representatives from around the world discussed how to collectively combat global dementia. The Conference led to an 11-point Call for Action advocating for increased public awareness, enhanced dementia research efforts, and better access to supports and services. In 2012, the WHO published Dementia: A Public Health Priority, a comprehensive snapshot of the global dementia burden. The report called on the public health community to address dementia on both the international and national levels through developing national dementia plans, increasing public awareness, and enhancing quality of life for those living with dementia and their caregivers.

Read the full Plan of Action.
Read the WHO Call for Action.
Read more about the WHO Conference and the Meeting Report.
View presentation to WHO by Alzheimer’s Association president and chief executive officer Harry Johns.
Read the WHO report, Dementia: A Public Health Priority.


Pan-American Health Organization

In October 2015, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) — the WHO regional office for North and South America – became the first world region to adopt a comprehensive strategy and plan to address the burden of dementia. The Strategy and Plan of Action on Dementia in Older Persons outlines specific actions to improve or expand care for older people with dementia, prevent or delay functional decline and dependence, and increase dementia research.

Read the PAHO press release.
Read the PAHO report, Strategy and Plan of Action on Dementia in Older Persons.

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World Dementia Council

The World Dementia Council is an independent, worldwide group that seeks to lead and coordinate global efforts to tackle dementia, ensure international collaboration, and galvanize action against dementia all over the world. The World Dementia Council has five priority areas of focus: increasing the global funding dedicated to dementia research; sharing and disseminating data through an open culture of science and collaboration; expediting the regulatory process to develop new treatments; ensuring quality dementia care services and supports for people with dementia and their carers; and reducing the risk of developing dementia.

The Council has 24 members, representing researchers, advocates, business owners, public health officials, scientists, economists, and people living with the disease. Dr. Yves Joanette, Scientific Director of the Institute of Aging for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, serves as Chair of the Council and Raj Long, Senior Advisor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, serves as Vice-Chair. Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, is a member of the Council.

The World Dementia Council was originally established in February 2014 following the G8 Summit on Dementia.

Read more about the World Dementia Council.
Read the World Dementia Council’s Statement of Purpose.

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G8 Summit

In December 2013, the G8 nations convened in London for the G8 Summit on Dementia. Experts from around the world gathered to begin an international conversation on tackling the global dementia crisis and provide a structure for a worldwide response. This meeting was the first time a health care issue was the subject of a G8 Summit, underscoring the importance of addressing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The G8 nations agreed to work together to:

  • Identify a cure or treatment by 2025
  • Increase “collectively and significantly” the funding for dementia research
  • Share data and research internationally
  • Develop a coordinated action plan for future Alzheimer’s and dementia research

Read the G8 Summit on Dementia Declaration.
Read the G8 Summit on Dementia Communique.

The G8 Summit on Dementia kicked off a yearlong global effort to address dementia, highlighted by a series of legacy events that continued to shape a coordinated, worldwide response.

  • Innovative Funding Models (London, England) – increasing the investment in Alzheimer’s and dementia research.
  • Academia-Industry Collaboration (Ottawa, Canada) – enhancing the collaboration between academic researchers and private industry. Learn more.
  • Care and Prevention Models (Tokyo, Japan) – improving Alzheimer’s and dementia care and support. Learn more.
  • Research Progress (Washington, D.C., United States) – updating the progress on Alzheimer’s and dementia research.
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United Nations

In 2011, the United Nations (UN) adopted a political declaration to address the growing worldwide burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD). NCDs – such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer – are the leading cause of death worldwide. The declaration urges countries to develop national NCD prevention plans, reduce risk factors and social determinants for NCDs, and strengthen the capacity for research and development.

“. . . mental and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, are an important cause of morbidity and contribute to the global NCD burden for which there is a need to provide equitable access to effective programmes and health care interventions.”
—UN Political Declaration on NCDs

 

Read the UN Non-Communicable Disease Political Declaration.

 



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Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.