Tackling Dementia

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 9th April 2014.

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Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Liberal Democrat, Sutton and Cheam 11:30 am, 9th April 2014

What steps her Department is taking to support developing countries in tackling the effects of dementia.

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

The UK Government support the improvement of dementia care through increased provision of basic health services for the poor. In 2012-13, the UK provided about £1 billion in bilateral health aid to support work to strengthen health systems and health services for the poor.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow Liberal Democrat, Sutton and Cheam

I thank the Minister for that answer and for the actions the Government are already taking. Given that six out of 10 people living with dementia worldwide live not in developed but in developing countries, that the vast majority of them do not have a diagnosis, and that we know from research by Alzheimer’s Disease International that the burden of dementia is shifting to developing countries, will the Government take further steps to build on the success of the dementia summit held last year to lever action in those developing countries?

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

I thank my right hon. Friend and pay tribute to him for the work he has done; indeed, I have met with him to discuss this very issue. Of course, dementia is a growing issue in the developing world. Regarding the Prime Minister’s summit, we have contributed to the Department of Health, which is the lead Department on the issue, and we are dealing full out with communicable diseases. We also, as my right hon. Friend knows, have a campaign on mental health issues.