Adding life to years
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World Health Organization Seminar: Healthy Ageing and Health Equity (1 October 2018)

On the International Day of Older Persons 2018, three former heads of country offices, now in HQ – Boureima Hama Sambo (former WHO Representative in Gabon), Ornella Lincetto (former WHO Representative in Bhutan), and Anshu Banerjee (former WHO Representative, Sudan) – reflected on what they could and could not do in their work to promote equity in ageing. Ritu Sadana, Senior Health Advisor/ALC moderated the discussion, highlighting examples of what can be done to improve equity in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health.

The world is getting older, but too many people are spending their precious older years in poor health. At the same time, all the advantages and disadvantages that people experience through their lives impact health and accumulate with age, leading to large inequities in health and function in older age.

GPW13 commits to reduce the number of older adults who are care dependent by 15 million. This can only be achieved by improving the health of older people as they age and supporting them to develop and maintain the ability to do the things they value. As the Sustainable Development Goals focus on leaving no one behind, we must ensure that every person has a fair chance to optimize their health and well-being – regardless of their age.