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World population rapidly ageing – WHO

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The World Health Organisation says the world’s population is ageing fast and thus urgent action is needed to ensure that people reach old age in the best possible health.

In the organization’s message on ‘World Health Day’ which is observed April 7 each year, WHO said by the middle of this century, almost two billion people will be over 60 years of age and more than 400 million people will be 80 years old.

WHO’s Director of Department of Ageing and Life Course, John Beard told the UN Radio April 6, 2012 that “One of the key things to achieving health in older age is to live a healthy life. And that, in fact starts even before you are born, that your mother leads a healthy life, doesn’t smoke and eats a good diet.”

“But across our own lives,” Beard adds, “we all need to be following healthy behaviours, not smoking, drinking within moderation, being physically active, eating healthy diet. And that gives us a platform from which we can have a healthy older age.”

The agency said the main health challenges for older people everywhere are non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease.

By Ekow Quandzie

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