Dementia and COVID-19 in New Zealand, Chile, and Germany: Cross-country learning for resilience in health care system.

Text by Dr. Franziska Laporte Uribe

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed gaps in our health systems worldwide and people living with dementia are amongst the most vulnerable in this emergency situation, but the pandemic has also spurred a lot of care and research innovations. Therefore, we want to take this opportunity to learn both from failures and from innovations by exploring why some countries are doing better than others and what we can learn from each other to increase health system resilience.

The purpose of this international collaboration is to address disaster-preparedness and disaster-resilience of health care systems and use the translational potential of cross-country learning to improve resilience of health care systems and responsiveness to the needs of people living with dementia and their families in times of crises and beyond. We hypothesise that translational potential lies in cross-country learning by involving three high-income countries with distinct geo-political-cultural-social systems in Latin America (Chile), in the South Pacific (New Zealand), and in Europe (Germany). Our vision is that such cross-country learning will lead to provide adequate, equitable, and sustainable care and support for families living with dementia during a pandemic and beyond.

With this proposed research we will move at the crossroad of global health, health care system approaches and disaster management. Linking those three major perspectives under the denominator dementia will require a change of perspective from each partner. For this, partners will need a vision of how this change of perspective will relate to their own field of expertise and how it will benefit their own discipline. Also, for collaborating successfully in a multidisciplinary context we will have to take some time to bring together discourses from different disciplines, find common grounds and a common language.

A grant from the German Research Foundation - DFG (LA 4943/1-1) will allow us to deepen our collaboration in the COVIDemX3 consortium with German, Chilean and New Zealand scientists over the next 12 months. Together, we will take the first steps to answer the question, "What makes health systems resilient to crises and what can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic for the overall societal challenge of dementia?".

For further information please contact the project member:

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Lothar Schrott

Project collaborator

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