Mental health

Dementia: a public health priority

Dementia is a syndrome that affects memory, thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday activities – usually of a chronic or progressive nature. The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 35.6 million. This number will double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050.

Launch of the report "Dementia: a public health priority"


The report has been jointly developed by WHO and Alzheimer's Disease International.

The purpose of this report is to raise awareness of dementia as a public health priority, to articulate a public health approach and to advocate for action at international and national levels.

Dementia is overwhelming not only for the people who have it, but also for their caregivers and families. There is lack of awareness and understanding of dementia in most countries, resulting in stigmatization, barriers to diagnosis and care.

Latest publications

Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020

The action plan recognizes the essential role of mental health in achieving health for all people. It aims to achieve equity through universal health coverage and stresses the importance of prevention.