Enabling healthy ageing population remains the priority of the Countries in the Western Pacific Region which will eventually reduce the high costs of maintaining the sickly elderly.
This was confirmed by Fijian Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete as he attended the Asia Pacific Rim Universities Conference in Health and Care for the Ageing held in Japan this week.
It was established that the rapid aging of populations has become a major concern for economies from across the Pacific Rim and Japan and new strategies need to be developed to address this issue.
Fiji, New Caledonia, Marshall Islands and French Polynesia have been identified as having a growing Agilent population with 9% of Fiji’s population being older people. This is expected to double by 2040
Dr Waqainabete highlighted that discussions also centered on ways to engage elderly people for active participation in the society.
“Often there is a growing deterioration of health amongst the elderly population and people are subjected to chronic diseases therefore it becomes absolutely necessary to work proactively and have the mechanisms in place to counter such issues”, Dr. Waqainabete said.
The great challenge for health systems is to get their populations to age healthily and avoid chronic diseases that may appear prematurely due to not paying attention to risk factors.