Successful dementia conference creates unprecedented momentum

The Global Action Against Dementia team and the International Dementia Innovation Unit pushed the delivery of the First Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia led by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 16 and 17 March.

Over 80 countries were in attendance and all members states agreed to support a ‘Call for action’, setting out the intent to tackle dementia on an international scale and provide global leadership. The countries agreed overarching principles and approaches that will be needed in promoting global action against dementia, and have called for a series of actions. Alongside the ‘Call for Action’, 45 International NGOs signed a strong statement in support of the work, which sited the impact of the UK’s leadership over the agenda.

Alongside the ‘Call for Action’, the International Dementia Innovation Unit developed a Global Dementia Framework . The framework demonstrates the global effort to address dementia, by capturing actions from countries and organisations. These are grouped under the seven themes: care, cure, open science and data, leadership, research, rights, and risk reduction. The framework also allows countries to identify organisations potential projects to collaborate on. The framework now has over 142 actions listed.

The conference heard about a wide range of initiatives to improve life for people with dementia from countries across the world; and about the wide range of challenges faced by countries, from diagnoses to stigma. Other significant developments during the conference include:

  • a $100m Dementia Discovery Fund for pre-clinical drug research announced by Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt
  • reports on progress made on the Global Action Against Dementia programme and the World Dementia Council
  • recommendations from global young leaders for the future work of the World Dementia Council.