Dementia included in draft WHO programme of work

25 January 2018

The explicit mention of dementia has been included in the World Health Organization (WHO) draft 13th General programme of work 2019-2023 following support from Member States and civil society at the 142nd Session of the WHO Executive Board in Geneva.

Representatives of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) attended the meeting, delivering a statement supported by Dementia Alliance International (DAI) which expressed concern at the omission of dementia. Attention to dementia was also requested in statements made by Member State representatives from Argentina, Chile, Japan, Portugal and the UK.

Paola Barbarino delivering ADI statement at EB142“Our challenge is still huge. The stigma surrounding dementia is immense and to change that is an incredibly difficult task. We strongly feel that mentioning dementia in the programme of work is key to the success of global advocacy for change.” Paola Barbarino, CEO Alzheimer’s Disease International

The draft programme of work outlines the priorities of the WHO for the next five-year period starting in 2019. It is expected to be approved by Member States at the World Health Assembly in May 2018. The inclusion of dementia in the General Programme of Work follows the adoption of the Global Dementia Action Plan, unanimously adopted by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in May 2017. The Action Plan includes targets for every government to prioritise dementia awareness, diagnosis, care and research. The World Health Organisation launched the Global Dementia Observatory in December 2017 to monitor the global plan.