The United Nations health agency has launched the first global monitoring system for dementia, which is expected to affect 152 million people worldwide by 2050.Dementia includes Alzheimer's disease and other types of memory loss and cognitive disabilities.
"Nearly 10 million people develop dementia each year, six million of them in low- and middle-income countries," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), in a news release on Thursday.
The Global Dementia Observatory, a web-based platform, launched by WHO, can track progress on the provision of services for people with dementia and for those who care for them, both within countries and globally.
It will also monitor the presence of national policy and plans, risk reduction measures and infrastructure for providing care and treatment.
This is the first global monitoring system for dementia that includes such a comprehensive range of data.
WHO says the annual global cost of dementia is estimated at $818 billion, equivalent to more than one per cent of global gross domestic product.
The total cost includes direct medical costs, social care and loss of income of caregivers.
By 2030, the cost is expected to more than double, to $2 trillion, reports UNB.