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Why WHO Celebrates Aging!?

Why WHO Celebrates Aging!?

(ePharmaNews) - On 7th of April, the world will celebrate the “World Health Day” as used to do for the past 60 years. Since the World Health Organization every year draw the world attention to a pre-determined health subject in order to gain adequate support (scientific, financial and even political), the theme of this year is devoted to "Ageing and Health".

In fact, it is not surprising that WHO chose the theme of "aging", since the ability of medicine to prolong human's life – despite of all diseases - is a major standard of development nowadays, and it seems that medicine has achieved a truly significant progress in this area, it is enough to know that after five years from now; and for the first time in human history, it is expected that the number of elderly (who exceed the sixty-fifth year) will be more than  the number of children (younger than five years) around the world.
On the other hand, this progress imposes the need to correct some of the social and economic concepts about the meaning of elderly, does it really mean that he/she is no longer capable of productivity!?
Furthermore, they point out that health spending and health-service use are more closely associated with how close one is to death than with chronological age. They add: “Indeed, it is often the case that less is spent on older people than on younger people with similar conditions.”

In different terms, the World Health Organization wants by selecting this theme to focus on developing countries that are not able yet to keep up with the medical advances in this field, the countries that still spend their health expenditures on epidemics and infectious diseases at the expense of aging diseases.

In a research published by The Lancet, Dr Peter Lloyd-Sherlock and colleagues criticized the general concepts about aging and focused on the importance of the theme of this year to correct and edit these concepts.

The authors say: “Depictions of older people remain stereotyped and generalized, distorting public opinion and skewing policy debates. For example, the use of economic dependency ratios, one of the commonest measures of ageing, assumes that anyone aged 65 years or older is unproductive. Similarly, the use of disability-adjusted life years to capture the health of a population explicitly views older people as a social and economic burden. Yet many older people continue to make substantial social, economic, and cultural contributions, which can be enhanced by measures that improve their health and functional status.”
The nature of diseases commonly affecting elderly is different from those affecting younger age groups, as rates of infectious diseases largely decline with aging.
 The authors say substantial improvements in status can be achieved with relatively cheap and simple interventions such as the effective management of hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, in particular regular physical activity. The authors say: “Yet in most countries these interventions are not available to large sections of adult populations. The failure of national governments and international agencies to priorities these cheap and effective treatments represents a missed opportunity to reduce mortality, illness, and disability on an unprecedented scale.”

The World Health Day events Started yesterday, the fourth of April, till the actual day, which will be a feast for all elderly, to enjoy a longer life.

اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Basel AlJunaidy
Translated by: Marcell Shehwaro

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