Dementia is a growing issue for global public health, and one of the major health challenges for our generation. 47 million people currently live with dementia, and, as the population is ageing, this figure is expected to triple by 2050 (for more facts, see WHO infographic).
In the light of this data, the World Health Organisation (WHO) hosted on 16th-17thMarch 2015, its first Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in Geneva. The participants included experts from research, clinical and advocacy communities from 80 Member States, 80 philanthropic foundations, 45 NGOs and 4 UN Agencies.

Dementia is often considered a natural or inevitable consequence of ageing, and this misleading prejudice tends to keep stakeholders from acting on this matter. This kind of disorder is indeed often misunderstood, and promoting better understanding is a key priority in this respect. However, “evidence [also] suggests that the risk of certain types of dementia may be lowered by reducing cardiovascular risk factors[1]”. Therefore, a lot of room remains for improvement on this issue.
During the event, a clear consensus emerged on the need to foster collaboration between all stakeholders to improve the general quality of care and address the impact of dementia, not only from a medical perspective, but also from an economic one.
“The global cost of dementia care in 2010 was estimated to be US$ 604 billion (…). By 2030, the cost of caring for people with dementia worldwide could be an estimated US$ 1.2 trillion or more”.
In this respect, the conference organisers announced that US$100 million will soon be invested in a new global Dementia discovery fund.