MANILA, Philippines — Saturday we join the world in celebrating World Health Day which coincides with the Founding Anniversary of the World Health Organization. World Health Day was conceptualized right after the First World Health Assembly in 1948 and since 1950, it has been annually celebrated on April 7. The celebration aims to raise global awareness of a specific health theme which is a priority area of concern of the World Health Organization.
This year, the theme is “Ageing and Health: Good Health Adds Life to Years.” The theme gives emphasis on how good health throughout life can help older people lead a full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities. Ageing concerns all of us. World Health Organization data shows that by the year 2050 about 2 billion people which represent 22% of the world population will belong to the elderly.
This projection presents many challenges on us, the communities, and the policy-makers. As early as now, everyone should make sure that we will be all healthy when we become old and we should work together to create an age-friendly environment for the elderly.
Some of the things being suggested to ensure that we will maintain a healthy body in our old age include: doing regular exercise, consuming a balanced diet, quitting the use of tobacco and alcohol, and changing lifestyle. Elderly people should also be provided with facilities that will make their life healthier and much easier. Buildings should have ramps, railings, and elevators for these people and public places such as parks should be provided with clean toilets. Programs and facilities that would keep them physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy should also be accessible.
In order that older people retain their health and remain a resource for societies, we hope our government will support the projects of the World Health Organization for older people. They should be provided with health providers that would prevent and manage age-related chronic diseases, design sustainable policies on long-term and palliative care, and develop age-friendly services and settings.