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Healthy elderly ageing is a global challenge

New Delhi, Wed, 04 Apr 2012 NI Wire

Making life for the productive and healthy ageing is a global challenge, said the top officials of World Health Organisation (WHO) just few days before the World Health Day that is observed across the world on April 7.

"The challenge for India, as for all countries over the world, is not only to add further years to life but more importantly to add life to years and to ensure that the elderly can live full, enriching and productive lives. For this to be possible, good health is essential," said WHO representative in India Nata Menabde.

WHO, in collaboration with India's health and family welfare ministry, has urged for more attention to the ageing of India's population and its understanding for health policy. In addition to that, they has called for promotion of a specific society keeping in mind the elderly population of the country where they can continue with a live full, enriching and productive lives.

The WHO officials also complimented the initiatives of the ministry's programme for the elderly's health care.

"The launch of the National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE) by the health ministry is an important step in that direction," Menabde added.

AS there has been a consistent increase in the life expectance rate and the elderly population, the chances of various health conditions like heart disease, stroke, cancers, diabetes, and mental health problems are also growing tremendously, claiming the need for additional demands on health services, say experts.

"With trend towards nuclear family, care of the elderly population at the family level will become difficult. Long term care of old and very old will need additional inputs from the families and governments," said Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO regional director for Southeast Asia.

WHO, in participation with the health ministry, will be starting out a number of consultations, workshops and various activities that will involve the stakeholders at the national, state and local level ahead of World Health Day, when 19 state-level meetings, as well as a national meeting, will be held. WHO is also participating in a one-day national meeting at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to be organized on April 7.

-With inputs from IANS.

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