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May 2017 - WHO adopts Global Action Plan on Dementia

WHO action on dementia

On 29 May 2017  “Global Plan of Action on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017- 2025” was unanimously adopted by 194 countries of WHO during the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA 70) in Geneva Switzerland.

The plan supports the urgent message that countries need to develop practical and ambitious national strategies. Alzheimer Europe (AE) and people living with dementia were consulted on the development of the plan, which includes a set of seven global targets:

  1. Dementia as a public health priority
  2. Dementia Awareness and Friendliness
  3. Dementia risk reduction
  4. Dementia diagnosis, treatment, care and support
  5. Support for dementia carers
  6. Information systems for dementia
  7. Dementia research and innovation.

The plan calls on all governments to meet these targets. Currently it is estimated that 8.7 million people live with dementia in Europe and that world-wide 47.5 people live with dementia. It is a major cause of disability and dependency among older people world-wide and with the ageing demographic this figure is expected to increase further.

The plan acknowledges that dementia is not a normal part of ageing and that governments should act now.

Jean Georges, Executive Director of AE said “Alzheimer Europe welcomes the adoption of the Global Action Plan on Dementia by the World Health Organisation. At a time when the number of countries in Europe developing national dementia strategies continues to grow, it is encouraging to see this call for greater global collaboration. The Global Dementia Observatory, to be set up by the WHO following this Action Plan, will be a useful system for countries to compare and benchmark the readiness of their health and care systems to address the dementia challenge. We hope that the European Union will follow this example and start the development of a European dementia strategy which promotes greater research collaboration and the exchange of good practices between countries on care and support systems.”

More information on the WHO's actions on dementia can be found at:



Last Updated: Friday 03 September 2021