Each year World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 to commemorate the founding of the World Health Organization. The WHO selects a topic every year that represents an important public health issue affecting the international community. The 2012 World Health Day theme is Ageing and health: Good health adds life to years.
In the past century, life expectancies have increased largely due to an improvement in public health practices and policies. According to the WHO, it is estimated that between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will double.
An increased number of older people bring both benefits and challenges to the global community. The WHO indicates the importance of older people in families, workplaces, and communities in its brief for World Health Day 2012. On the other hand, an increase in the number of older people means a greater need for care, placing pressure on pension and social security systems.
As part of World Health Day 2012, the WHO promotes living a healthy lifestyle throughout all stages in life, making cities and communities age-friendly, and ensuring that basic healthcare is available at any age.
The discussion of healthy aging continued at this week’s European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Active and Healthy Ageing conference, which was a directive of the European Commission. The event brought together stakeholders to discuss action steps necessary to meet the Partnership’s goal of increasing the healthy lifespan of an EU citizen by 2 years. The EIP aims to improve the quality of life for older people, support the long-term efficiency of Europe’s health systems, and expand EU industry in the field of healthy ageing.
The EU also recognized the need to address the issue of ageing by declaring 2012 the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.
Celebrate World Health Day 2012 by making healthy life choices and embracing the presence of older people in your community and the world.