Dementia: Call for global action
Dementia is a global public health challenge. Worldwide, 47.4 million people live with dementia, and this figure is expected to reach 135 million by 2050.
Dementia is the umbrella term for a number of symptoms relating to decline in memory and other cognitive functions, severe enough to interfere with an individual’s daily living activities. There are various types of dementia–Alzheimer’s disease however, accounts for 50–70% of all cases of dementia.
Dementia has severe effects on the quality of life of individuals and causes tremendous strain on caregivers and health care systems. The cost of care reached an estimated US$ 604 billion worldwide in 2010, and is expected to exceed US$ 1 trillion annually in the US alone by 2050.
To address dementia in a comprehensive way there are three primary themes to consider: prevention and risk reduction, diagnosis and care, and cure. WHO committed to leading and coordinating efforts on dementia. It also pledged to establish a Global Dementia Observatory that will monitor disease prevalence and dementia care resources in Member States and track the establishment of national dementia policies and plans.