The World Health Organisation [WHO], in association with Alzheimer's Disease International, has just published a report on Dementia: a Public Health Priority.
The purpose of this report is to raise awareness of dementia as a public health priority, to articulate a public health approach and to advocate for action at international and national levels. The report highlights the enormous and increasing burden of dementia globally, and the general lack of strategic planning for dementia care in most countries and is expected to facilitate governments, policy-makers, and other stakeholders to address the impact of dementia as an increasing threat to global health.
The report will be translated into languages other than English, and WHO is prepared to offer technical support and advice to ministries of health who wish to prepare for what is called 'an impending dementia crisis.'
Dementia is a syndrome that affects memory, thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday activities. The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 35.6 million. This number will double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050. Dementia is overwhelming not only for the people who have it, but also for their caregivers and families. There is lack of awareness and understanding of dementia in most countries, resulting in stigmatization, barriers to diagnosis and care, and impacting caregivers, families and societies physically, psychologically and economically.