On 16 and 17 March 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) hosted its first Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia. Ministers from around the world, as well as experts from the research, clinical and NGO communities, came together in Geneva for the first time to discuss the global problems posed by dementia.
The aim is to raise awareness of the socio-economic burden created by dementia, and to highlight that this burden can be reduced if the world collectively commits to placing dementia high on the global public health agenda.
The first day of the conference covered issues from research and drug regulation to care and human rights. On the second day, ministers discussed how to collectively move the global dementia agenda forward.
The conference was supported by the Department of Health of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The recorded webcast from the two days of the event is available here and at the link below.
The major outcome of the conference is that WHO member states have agreed to support a formal Call for Action setting out the intent to tackle dementia on an international scale and provide global leadership. The Call for Action was adopted by most of the countries that attended the conference. You can read the Call for Action on the WHO site.
WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan said
“We have been running behind the curve with dementia for a long time, but several recent events tell us that we are catching up. We must weave these multiple new initiatives into a comprehensive plan that can work in all countries. Government commitment will be key.”
Some of Europe’s brightest young leaders in research into dementia gathered in London on 27th February 2015 as part of a series of workshops to discuss innovative ideas to address the disease.
More than 50 young experts in fields such as neurology, psychiatry, cellular biology and sociology gathered for a series of discussions and workshops looking at how to help people with dementia live independently for longer and what needs to be done to find a cure. The experts were from 19 countries including the UK, The Netherlands, France, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia and Belgium. Click here for a list of the Young Leaders who attended the workshop.
The workshop was hosted at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the UK Government’s Science and Innovation Network in partnership with the World Dementia Council and the Global Action Against Dementia programme, which were established after the UK Government hosted the 2013 G8 Summit on Dementia.
Flickr slideshow below courtesy of UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, under Creative Commons licence.
This was the fourth in a series of workshops for young leaders organised by the Science and Innovation Network to support global efforts to achieve the 2013 G8 Summit Declaration commitments. Previous Young Leaders workshops have taken place in the USA, Canada and Japan with the aim to create a global network of future young leaders which will continue to address the challenges presented by dementia.
Robin Grimes, FCO Chief Scientific Adviser said: “International science and innovation collaboration is critical to deliver the commitment made at G8 to identify a cure or a disease-modifying therapy for dementia by 2025. This and other young leaders events will make a major contribution by bringing together the best young minds across a range of scientific backgrounds to encourage new ideas and foster new opportunities for innovation.”
Philippe Amouyel of the EU Joint Programme on Neurodegnerative Diseases said: “The scale of the dementia challenge demands a global response, beyond G7 countries. This latest young leader workshop is importing new perspectives and innovative ideas from all over Europe and beyond to tackle the dementia challenge. By harnessing the collective brains of these ambassadors of research we ensure the future of dementia research remains bright, efficient and globalised”.
Working in association with the meeting organisers and Alzheimer Europe, JPND member countries actively identified and partly-supported the participation of Young Leaders in the workshop. Indeed, several JPND members increased their allocated support to facilitate the participation of as many identified young leaders as possible. JPND Management Board chair, Professor Philippe Amouyel represented JPND in the workshop. Click here to view Philippe’s JPND presentation on the day.