Global Commission On Ageing In Developing Countries

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Shri GhulamNabi Azad chaired the session for launching of the “Global Commission on Ageing in Developing Countries” at Beijing, China on October 24.

The goal of the Commission is to enable gender, equity and rights based policies and programming that will improve the quality of life of the ageing population in developing countries including the 25 member countries of Partners in Population and Development (PPD). India is presently the Chair of PPD.

Currently for most countries of the world the population aged 60 or over is growing at a rate faster than any other age group. United Nations has made projections that by 2050 there will be more people in the age group of 60 plus worldwide than children aged under14 years. What is also known is that about 80% of these elderly citizens will be living in developing countries, he said.

The Minister highlighted that 25 member countries of PPD constitute 48.6% of the world population aged 60 and above, and this is projected to increase to 57.1% by 2050. Moreover, in 2012, nine Asian member countries of PPD constituted over 76.4% of over 60 years population in Asia, which is estimated to increase to 78.1% by 2050.

Highlighting some of the initiatives of the Health Ministry in India in this area Shri Azad said that the National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) aims at setting up Regional Geriatric Centres in Regional Medical Institutions. Geriatric Units at District Hospitals and Rehabilitation Units at CHCs have been opened with referral support being provided to PHCs and Sub Centres. He noted thatso far eight Regional Geriatric Centres have been opened and 100 districts in 21 provinces have been covered under the programme. There are ambitious plans for the 12th Plan period from 2012 to 2017, with an outlay of about 285 million USD (Rs. 1,710 crores), the Minister said.

Prevalence Of Ageing Globally

United Nation already projected that by 2050 there will be more people worldwide in the age group over 60 years than children aged under 14 years. Alarmingly, about 80 percent of that elderly citizen of the globe will be living in developing countries. The global total of elderly people is expected to rise from the current 810 million to more than 2 billion by 2050; the most rapid increase will take place in developing countries.

Ageing is taking place all over the world, but with a different pace in different regions. The statistics of 2012 reveal that, in Asia, 11 percent of the population was over 60 years, on the contrary 6 percent in Africa and 10 percent in Latin America. Projections forecast that, by 2050, the rates will have increased to 24 percent in Asia, 10 percent in Africa and 25 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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