Updated: September 4, 2021 7:16:43 am
Only a quarter of countries have a national policy, strategy or plan for supporting people with dementia and their families, according to a global status report on the public health response to dementia released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on September 2.
The ‘Global status report on the public health response to dementia’ takes stock of progress made to date towards the 2025 global targets for dementia laid out in the WHO’s ‘Global Dementia Action Plan’ published in 2017.
It uses data from WHO’s Global Health Estimates 2019 and the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 as well as from WHO’s Global Dementia Observatory (GDO).
So far, 62 countries have submitted data to the GDO, 56% of which are high-income nations and 44% are low- and middle-income nations. Together, these countries represent 76% of people aged 60 years or older. Data includes issues ranging from national policies and diagnosis, treatment and care, support for careers and research and innovation. Four years ago, governments agreed on a set of targets to improve dementia care. But targets alone are not enough. Concerted action is required to ensure that all people with dementia are able to live with the support and dignity they deserve, a WHO statement said.
The number of people living with dementia is growing according to the report. WHO estimates that more than 55 million people (8.1% of women and 5.4% of men over 65 years) are living with dementia. This number is estimated to rise to 78 million by 2030 and to 139 million by 2050.
The report highlights an urgent need to strengthen support at national level, both in terms of care for people with dementia and in support for the people, who provide that care in both formal and informal settings.
WHO’s Western Pacific Region has the highest number of people with dementia (20.1 million), followed by the European Region (14.1 million).
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