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Moving beyond stereotypes: Responding to unheeded needs of the ageing populations

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Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
Dr John Beard, Director, WHO Dept of Ageing and Life-course
Dr John Beard, Director, WHO Dept of Ageing and Life-course
(Image by CNS (Citizen News Service))
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Interview podcast is online at: http://bit.ly/cnspodcast

Dr John Roland Beard, Director of Department of Ageing and Life-Course at the World Health Organization (WHO) was one of the key speakers at the HelpAge Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Economic Implications of Ageing in Hanoi, Viet Nam. He spoke to Citizen News Service (CNS) in an exclusive interview on how to effectively advance the agenda of the ageing populations (listen to this interview here: http://bit.ly/cnspodcast ).

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Here is what Dr John Beard said to CNS:

Investing in caring for the aged

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"It is an essential and smart investment if governments are really serious about socio economic development. But economics apart, the older people have rights just like anybody else. And if governments want to create fair and equitable societies, they need to care for all segments of populations, including the aged people".

Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health 2016-2020

"Adoption of this plan by the World Health Assembly in May 2016 was an important milestone. The plan identifies 5 key strategic objectives where action is required:

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- A global campaign to combat ageism by solidifying commitments of countries around the world - This is the essential first step to achieve the other four objective

- Providing long term care to the aged - In many countries, particularly in emerging economies, this role is traditionally played by families who look after the older people. But when people talk about families they are really talking about women. So this is not only unjust for women but also unsustainable. There are very few women for the many more older people and it also means that women cannot participate in the work force or children cannot go to school because they need to care for an older person. So families alone cannot be expected to provide the care and support that older people need.

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Citizen News Service (CNS) specializes in in-depth and rights-based, health and science journalism. For more information, please contact: www.citizen-news.org or @cns_health or www.facebook.com/cns.page

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