Philippines Celebrates World Health Day 2012: Good Health Adds Life to Years!
Manila, Philippines, 11 April 2012 - WHO Representative Dr Soe Nyunt-U, DOH Center for Health Development Metro Manila Director Eduardo Janairo, and Senior Citizens’ Representative Mr Jorge Banal lead participants on an exercise demonstration during the Philippine World Health Day 2012 celebration in Quezon City.The growing number of the older persons in the population, and the need to address their health-related concerns was emphasized by Dr Eduardo Janairo, Director IV, Center for Health Development in Metro Manila. Current population estimates indicate that there are now about six million Filipinos above 60 years of age.
“While we rejoice that more people are now reaching old age and living longer, we should prepare our health and social systems for the coming demographic transformation”, said Dr Soe Nyunt-U, WHO Representative in the Philippines. He added that globally within the next five years, the population of people aged 65 and older will outnumber children under the age of five. By 2050, these older adults will outnumber children under 14.
Dr Soe emphasized that the main health challenges for older people are now noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease. These diseases are often experienced together and there is therefore a need to shift the focus from providing good care for a single disease to providing good health in the face of multiple diseases.
Mr Jorge Banal mentioned some noteworthy government initiatives to respond the plight of the elderly population, but emphasized the need to address the gaps and continue responding to these gaps.