WHO focuses on healthy ageing in its new draft work programme

Thanks to an international advocacy campaign led by Longevity for All, the World Health Organization (WHO) has included a focus on “healthy ageing” into the new WHO draft work programme (see here for an advance version of this work program).

Paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 37 are particularly relevant, including the WHO commitment to advance the Global Strategy and Action Plan (GSAP) on Ageing and Health (until 2020, including the strategic objective 5 for “improving measurement, monitoring and understanding of healthy ageing”) and to prepare for the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030).

Perhaps the most significant for advocacy is that Paragraph 15 of the work program declares the major public health goal “to live not just long but also healthy lives” and suggests the use of “healthy life expectancy” as the main measure of health care success. Such goals and measures for healthy longevity can be advocated and quoted also at the national and local level.

Dr. John Beard, Director of the WHO Ageing and Life Course division acknowledged the importance of this campaign for the change of the programme, and quotes the article Aging health and R&D for healthy longevity must be included into the WHO work program as an example of the successful joint advocacy effort.

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