Integrating Poverty and Gender into Health Programmes: A Sourcebook for Health Professionals (Module on Ageing)

WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific

Publication details

Publication date: 2006
Price: US $ 10
ISBN: 9290612339
Number of pages: 66



Although poverty and gender significantly influence health and socioeconomic development, health professionals are not always adequately prepared to address such issues in their work. This publication aims to improve the awareness, knowledge and skills of health professionals in the region on poverty and gender concerns.

The modules that comprise this sourcebook are intended for use in pre-service and in-service training of health professionals. This publication is also expected to be of use to policy-makers and programme managers as a reference document, or in conjunction with in-service training.

All modules in the series are linked, though each one can be used on a stand-alone basis if required. Two foundational modules establish the conceptual framework for the analysis of poverty and gender issues in health. Each of the other modules is intended for use in conjunction with these two foundational modules. The sourcebook also contains a module on curricular integration to support health professional educational institutions integrate poverty and gender concerns into existing curricula. About this module

This module is designed to improve awareness, knowledge and skills of health professionals on poverty and gender concerns in the field of ageing. We live in an ageing world. In 2002, 629 million persons - or one in every 10 - was 60 or older. This age group will comprise 2 billion people by 2050, or one in every five persons, surpassing the population of children 14 years old or younger for the first time in history. Further, 4% of the world's population will be 80 or older in 2050. This change in the age structure of the world's population is considered one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century, bringing with it new social, economic, political and scientific challenges.

While ageing is a biological process, a number of factors influence how people experience ageing. Even for those with access to adequate resources and social support during their younger years, old age brings physical decline, decreased capacity for earning, and change from a dominant role and status within the household and community to a relatively peripheral and dependent one. Impoverishment in old age is a common experience for those who were not employed in the formal sector of the economy or lack social security coverage. For those denied access to resources and oppurtunities throughout their life, due to poverty or gender or both, ageing compounds their manifold disadvantages. Given a relatively ageing world population, poverty and deprivation in old age need to be address urgently.