Organised by the FIP Programme Committee
ChairsBetty Chaar, The University of Sydney, Australia and Mary Wang, Taiwan Society of Health System Pharmacists, China Taiwan
Across the world, life expectancy is rising at the rate of around 2 years per decade, an amazing five hours each day. By 2050, two billion people across the world will be aged 60 plus. This has instigated massive improvements in education, medical science and public health. But it presents humans with a conundrum. Who wants a longer life if our later years are beset with ill health?
According to the predictions made by the United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], in the 2010 edition of the World Population Outlook (United Nations, 2010), the percentage of elderly people aged over 65 after 2020 will officially exceed the population of children under 5 years old, and the gap is expected to increase. At the same time however, high mortality rates for children under five years of age, are still a problem in some regions.
According to a new United Nations [UN] report, every day in 2016, 15,000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46% of them – or 7000 babies – died in the first 28 days of life. Pneumonia and diarrhea top the list of infectious diseases which claim the lives of millions of children under-five globally. Improving the quality of healthcare services and timely care during and after childbirth if prioritized can help alleviate this phenomenon. Some ways to help end preventable child deaths can be achieved by improving access to skilled health-professionals during pregnancy and at the time of birth; lifesaving interventions, such as immunization, breastfeeding and inexpensive medicines; and increasing access to water and sanitation.
The “Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health,” adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2016, addresses negative attitudes and assumptions about ageing
This first-ever global strategy on healthy ageing reflects serious concerns about how we are to provide for ageing populations and pursues a vision of “a world in which everyone can live a long and healthy life”. Key to this global strategy is collaboration among governments, service providers, product developers, academics and older people themselves. The strategy highlights a need to look at our workforce and training.
Early life lays the foundations for lifelong health. Thus, healthy ageing should ideally start in childhood and take a lifelong perspective. Yet it is never too late to start. As prevention is of high importance, investing in prevention can have important benefits for the individuals involved. Investing in prevention also has societal benefits, as it is better to finance effective strategies to prevent diseases than to cure them.
In this context, from children’s health to healthy ageing, pharmacists can play a very important role. This role encompasses ensuring the quality use of medicines for the safety of special populations, such as, pregnant women, infants and the elderly. The pharmacist can also provide support and counselling on lifestyle, vaccination and treatment of minor ailments. Pharmacists can provide expert monitoring using up-to-date technology and digitally enhanced resources, as well as reminders for self-medication and lifestyle modifications to promote compliance and general well being.
Ensuring good health over a long life span can be greatly enhanced with the support of pharmacists, the most accessible healthcare providers around the world.
- Every child has the right to be healthy
Claudia Vivas Torrealba, UNICEF, USA
- Universal health coverage and ageing
David Sinclair, International Longevity Center, UK
- The role of pharmacy in ensuring good health for all
Ina Donat, University of Otago, New Zealand
- Primary care in Spain and the new role for pharmacy
Carlos Treceño, Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Farmacéuticos de España, Spain
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Describe the necessity for healthy ageing – from a personal as well as societal perspective
- Discuss the role of pharmacy ensuring good health
- Explain how a world in which everyone can live a long and healthy life can be achieved
- Learn about successful examples of healthy ageing
Type of session: Knowledge-based