World failing to address dementia challenge: WHO report

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What is the News?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a report titled ‘Global status report on the public health response to ‘dementia’.

About Global status report on the public health response to dementia

Objective: The report takes stock of progress made towards the 2025 global targets for dementia laid out in the WHO’s ‘Global Dementia Action Plan’ published in 2017.

Key Findings of the Report

People Living with Dementia: Currently, more than 55 million people (8.1% of women and 5.4% of men over 65 years) are living with dementia. This number is estimated to rise to 78 million by 2030 and to 139 million by 2050.

Region-wise: The Western Pacific Region has the highest number of people with dementia (20.1 million), followed by the European Region (14.1 million).

Strategy on Dementia: Only a quarter of countries worldwide have a national strategy for supporting people with dementia and their families. Half of these countries are in Europe with the remainder split between other regions in the world.

Suggestions: The report highlights an urgent need to strengthen support at the national level both in terms of care for people with dementia and in support for the people who provide that care in both formal and informal settings.

About Dementia 

Dementia is a syndrome – usually of a chronic or progressive nature – that leads to deterioration in cognitive function (i.e. the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from the usual consequences of biological ageing. 

It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. 

Dementia results from a variety of diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.

Dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death among all diseases and one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.

Source: This post is based on the article “World failing to address dementia challenge: WHO report” published in Indian Express on 4th September 2021.

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