Today, Wednesday 5 December, we joined a historic summit held in London to find solutions to end the dementia crisis.
Hosted by the World Dementia Council, key ministerial leaders including David Cameron (Former UK Prime Minister), Matt Hancock (UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care) and Kenji Suwazono (Japan’s Assistant Minister for Health and Welfare) joined the meeting. Prof Bart De Strooper, UK DRI Director, contributed to a session on the funding and incentives required to continue making progress.
The meeting marks five years since the original 2013 summit. David Cameron said he now saw a “light at the end of a very long tunnel” but outlined key areas which leaders need to now tackle to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. These included increased awareness and better quality care, as well as more and better funded research into cure and prevention.
He added: “Why is it so important to bring world leaders together on this issue? Because this is a great global challenge of our time. No individual, organisation or country is going to be able to solve it alone. It doesn’t affect one country or some countries; it affects us all. It is too big and too complex to tackle without each other. And it will grow and grow if we don’t do more, and do so now.
“Five years ago, I was daunted when I explained the scale of the challenge. But now, I feel a deep sense of confidence. Because there is light at the end of a very long tunnel. We are going in the right direction. And if we keep up the pressure, take all the steps we’ve said we would, there’s no reason the diseases that cause dementia cannot be defeated.”