WHO's Global Dementia Observatory launched

World Dementia Council welcomes essential step in global fight against dementia

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched the Global Dementia Observatory, an international surveillance platform that will monitor progress around the world in meeting global aims to defeat dementia set out in the WHO Global action plan for the public health response to dementia, which was endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2017.

The aims include the worldwide adoption of national dementia policies to address the impact of dementia; resources for dementia prevention, treatment and care; research towards improved treatments and care; and epidemiology to assess the prevalence and burden of dementia.

The initiative sprang from the First Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia hosted by WHO in March 2015. Recognising the importance of monitoring global and national efforts on dementia, the conference called for development of an observatory.

The World Dementia Council has been to the fore in shaping the Observatory. Five full members of the Council took part in a two-day consultation meeting held by WHO in July 2016, together with representatives of the Council’s associate members in the Netherlands, Japan and the UK and other international experts.

Dr Yves Joanette and Raj Long, respectively Chair and Vice-Chair of the World Dementia Council, congratulated WHO for the launch of the Global Dementia Observatory, which will become a major tool for global planning and actions on dementia.Dr Joanette and Raj Long said, “Dementia is one of the most urgent health and economic challenges facing the world today. The best way to tackle it is together.

The systematic data that the Observatory will collect offers unprecedented opportunities to share information and best practice, monitor world progress in identifying gaps and needs, and address and overcome the challenges of dementia. We hope this will invigorate and hasten efforts around the world in adopting and implementing national dementia plans, and in paving the way for high quality research and innovation, prevention, treatment, care and support for people living with dementia.”