New Delhi: Making life for the elderly healthy and productive is a global challenge, top World Health Organisation (WHO) officials said here Tuesday ahead of World Health Day April 7."The challenge for India, as for all countries over the world, is not only to add further years to life but more importantly to add life to years and to ensure that the elderly can live full, enriching and productive lives. For this to be possible, good health is essential," said WHO representative in India Nata Menabde.The global health body, in partnership with India`s health and family welfare ministry, has called for a greater attention to the ageing of India`s population, its implications for health policy and for the promotion of a society where the elderly can live full, enriching and productive lives.The WHO representative lauded the ministry`s programme for the elderly`s health care."The launch of the National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE) by the health ministry is an important step in that direction," Menabde added.While there has been a steady increase in life expectancy and the elderly population, the burden of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancers, diabetes, and mental health problems are also growing, putting significant additional demands on health services, say experts.
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