22 April 2012

Be Ready For Ageing Population


An official of the World Health Organization-Western Pacific Re¬gion (WHO-WPR) yesterday said the Philippine healthcare system must be ready as the population of older people is expected to grow in the future.
“If there are more older people in the future, more chronic illnesses like diabetes, stroke and other health conditions and forms of disabilities such as hearing disabilities, physical disabilities and dementia, and this would entail medical care,” Dr. John Juliard Go, WHO National Officer for non-communicable diseases said in an interview during the unveiling of the exhibit on healthy ageing, the theme of this year’s World Health Day spearheaded by the WHO.
Citing the 2007 National Census, Go said the proportion of older per¬sons, 60 years and above is 6.23 per¬cent of the total population, or nearly six million older Filipinos today.

Go said “health expenditures in our healthcare system consist of government expenditures and out of pocket expenses.” 
He said there is a need to imple¬ment a comprehensive healthcare program that is also focused on prevention of illnesses not just on  treatment.

WHO projects that over the next five years, for the first time in history, the population of people 65 and older will outnumber children under the age of five in the Western Pacific Re¬gion. By 2050, these older adults will outnumber children under 14.
“The older age group is becoming the ‘new normal’ for the world’s popu¬lation. Populations are ageing fastest in low and middle-income countries. A transition toward an older society took more than a century in Europe and might take place in less than 25 years in countries like Brazil, China and Thailand,” WHO said.
By JENNY F. MANONGDO
mb.com.ph

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