This project creates opportunities for national dialogue to make dementia a public health priority in Vietnam. Funded by a NHMRC-NAFOSTED grant, it builds an evidence platform for the development of Vietnam’s National Dementia Plan.

Dementia is a costly condition in its social, economic, and health dimensions that has a significant impact on individuals, their family caregivers, communities and society. By 2018, dementia is estimated to cost one trillion US dollars worldwide, and the cost is predicted to rise to two trillion US dollarsby 2030. Dementia and cognitive impairment are the leading causes of disability and dependency in the elderly, resulting in significant needs for care both for people with dementia and for their carers. The catastrophic costs of long-term care not only drive many families with persons living with dementia below the poverty line, but also strain health and social systems, as well as government budgets.

This problem is even worse in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where the costs of dementia are mostly borne in informal care of unpaid family members. Like other LMICs, Vietnam is undergoing a dramatic demographic transition that will result in a substantial increase in the number of older adults and those with non-communicable diseases including dementia. There is an urgent need for the development of a Vietnam national dementia plan to ensure that adequate care and services are provided to people lving with dementia and their carers now and in the future.

In this project, research capacity is built using policy, epidemiological and qualitative analyses, and local stakeholders are engaged to develop an understanding of the impact of dementia, population needs and existing resources in Vietnam with the aim of formulating sound recommendations for an effective national dementia plan.

Contact: A/Prof Tuan Nguyen