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Alzheimers NZ Appeals To G8 Dementia Summit

10 December 2013

Alzheimers NZ urges G8 Dementia Summit to commit to international dementia planning

Alzheimers New Zealand and its international counterparts are calling for participants in tomorrow’s first G8 Dementia Summit to collaborate to address dementia, one of the world’s most significant and growing healthcare challenges.

In line with this international call, Alzheimers NZ is also calling for national cross-agency and cross-sector discussion on dementia to begin here in New Zealand.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 11 December), expert researchers, pharmaceutical companies, representatives from the OECD, Alzheimers organisations and health and science Ministers from the G8 countries will meet in London to discuss global action on dementia.

Alzheimers NZ, Executive Director, Catherine Hall said with the international challenge of dementia continuing to grow, the G8 Dementia Summit must prioritise the development of a collaborative, international plan to address the condition, which is predicted to affect around 150,000 New Zealanders by 2050.[i]

“If we are going to meet this challenge, the international dementia community must improve collaboration. We need a global strategy that allows us to pool resources internationally, and allows for larger countries to be working on the biggest areas of work, with smaller, developed countries playing a smaller role,” Ms Hall said.

“To support this, all nations also need to be starting a national discussion to address the dementia challenge, and that’s what we’re calling for here in New Zealand.

“We hope this discussion will involve government, community-based / not-for-profit and private sector providers working together to develop national planning that looks at the service provision, structural and funding changes that will be needed to respond to our aging population, which will be significantly affected by dementia.”

Ms Hall said increased investment in dementia research must be a key priority in both global and national dementia planning.

“Research into prevention and cure, as well as treatment, care and support for people affected by dementia is critically important to improving the lives of people with dementia across the world,” Ms Hall.

“Right now we simply do not know enough about dementia, and significant resources need to be devoted to learning more about treatment, care and prevention.”

Late last week Alzheimers Disease International (ADI) released a ppolicy brief entitled ‘The Global Impact of Dementia 2013-2050’ containing new global prevalence figures for dementia. The new figures indicate that 135 million people will be affected by the disease globally by 2050, an increase of 17 percent on previous estimates.

Highlights from ‘The Global Impact of Dementia 2013–2050’

· The number of people living with dementia worldwide in 2013 is estimated at 44.35 million, reaching 75.62 million in 2030 and 135.46 million in 2050.

· The updated estimates are higher than original estimates reported in the 2009 World Alzheimer Report, by 15% in 2030, and by 17% in 2050.

· 32% of people with dementia live in G8 countries and 38% in high income countries (including New Zealand).

· 62% of people with dementia live in low and middle income countries. By 2050, the proportion living in what are currently low and middle income countries will have increased to 71%.


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