Governments of both poor and rich countries must do more to help their fast-growing older populations stay healthy by tackling chronic diseases and ensuring their social well-being, the World Health Organisation says."If we look at the prevalence of chronic illnesses, like arthritis, they are equally common in developing countries as in developed countries," said Dr Somnath Chatterji, team leader of WHO's Multi-country Studies Unit.But poor countries with growing life expectancies have additional problems, including health systems that are too underfunded to handle their increasingly older populations.
Some countries "will grow older before they grow richer," Chatterji told a five-day conference today of the UN commission on population and development.That could bring an increase in health problems common in older people - such heart disease and stroke - to countries already coping with high rates of infectious illnesses, he said.
Countries such as France, Japan and Germany - which have some of world's oldest populations - have had more time and economic resources to improve social and health services, he said.
But people are also living longer in developing countries like China, Peru, and Sierra Leone. Their life expectancies have grown at a faster rate than those of richer countries, he said.
"Something that took France over a century," Chatterji said, "has happened in a matter of two decades in other countries."China has one of the fastest growing older populations in the world. Its over-65 population is growing at nearly three per cent a year, compared to a rate of less than one per cent for the overall population, said Jiang Fan, China's Vice Minister of National Population and Family Planning.The trend "constitutes another grave challenge and exerts unprecedented pressure on social security," he said. "Social security system of the elderly has not been established in most of China's rural areas, and most of the elderly mainly depend on their families."Chatterji urged governments to develop comprehensive strategies "so that as (people) age, they continue to remain in states of better health," he said.
The strategy should include helping older people cope with daily activities - such as driving - discouraging smoking and managing chronic illnesses, he said.Source : Sydney Morning HeraldMy Comment : Why are our health problems increasing, when billions of dollars are being spent on health? It makes sense that while our world is becoming more toxic every day, our bodies are at the same time taking in more and more toxins every day. A detox diet is one way these increasing health problems, particularly chronic illnesses, can be overcome.
Labels: chronic illnesses, detox diet, health