UK to host G8 dementia summit in December

The UK is to host the first G8 dementia summit to lead international action on tackling the condition.

The UK is making the fight against dementia global by hosting the first G8 summit dedicated to seeking an ambitious level of international coordination and an effective response to tackling the condition.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will use the UK’s 2013 presidency of the G8 to lead coordinated global action against what is fast becoming one of the greatest pressures on families, carers and health systems around the world.

In the UK alone, there are likely to be nearly a million people with the condition by the end of 2020. The government has already begun a national programme of action through the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, launched in 2011.

Now the UK is looking to spark a world-wide effort by inviting health ministers from G8 countries to a high-level summit in London on 11 December to discuss how they can coordinate efforts and shape an effective international solution to dementia. This includes looking for effective therapies and responses to slow dementia’s impact.

The summit will aim to identify and agree a new international approach to dementia research, to help break down barriers within and between companies, researchers and clinicians and secure a new level of cooperation needed to reach shared goals faster than nations acting alone.

They will draw on the expertise and experience of the OECD, World Health Organisation, industry, national research organisations, key opinion leaders, researchers and physicians.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt said: “Globally there is a new case of dementia every four seconds, and by 2020 we will see nearly 70 million people living with the condition.

“Dementia requires long-term health and social care support that can be hugely expensive. Currently 70 per cent of the global cost is incurred in medically advanced nations like Western Europe and North America. But nearly 60 per cent of people with the condition live in developing countries. As their populations grow and age, the pressure on their services and budgets will inevitably increase.”

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