Age Demands Action on Health

An older man in Bangladesh has his blood pressure checked as part of ADA on Health last year. An older man in Bangladesh has his blood pressure checked as part of ADA on Health last year. (c) HelpAge International World Health Day, on 7 April, celebrates the founding of the World Health Organization. For HelpAge, it is a day of collective action to campaign for older people's health and wellbeing.

Each year on World Health Day, Age Demands Action campaigners of all ages, across the world, fight for better healthcare for older people and follow up on pledges governments made in previous years.

Universal health coverage

This year more than 40 countries took action. Building on their achievements from 2013, campaigners called on their governments for universal health coverage (UHC). This means affordable, accessible healthcare for all.

Our world population is ageing and it’s ageing now. Governments must provide access to primary healthcare, essential medicines and trained healthcare workers to respond to older people’s needs.

Older campaigners taking action

On 7 April, campaigners for Age Demands Action on Health met high level officials such as Health Ministers, they spoke to the media and took part in marches as well as tweeted their decision-makers

Here is a snapshot of ADA on Health activities from around the world:

In Ethiopia, we used our HelpAge radio programme to interview decision makers and older people about the impact of vector borne diseases, such as malaria.

In Jamaica, we organised radio and television interviews with older people who called for better treatment for older people at health clinics and hospitals.

Our partner, the Red Cross of Serbia, hosted a public discussion on patients’ rights with the Ministry of Health, the Institute for Public Health and older people's organisations.

In Sri Lanka, there was a forum for older people to discuss suitable health programmes with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Services.

In Vietnam, interviews with decision makers were screened on national television. The focus of the discussion was basic health checks and older people’s healthcare issues.

Being outdoors was the theme of ADA on Health in Finland. Our partner there challenged politicians to take a friend out on World Health Day and share a message or photo on their Facebook page

In Ghana, ADA campaigners asked for health data to be disaggregated by age and to include those over 60 among other health demands.

Campaign impact

Since ADA on Health took place on 7 April, we have heard many success stories directly from our campaigners. Here are just a few examples:

  • Older people in Haiti have used ADA on Health as an opportunity to meet the Ministry of Public Health and raise awareness about the health issues faced by older people. As a result, older people's health is now mentioned in the Haitian Public Health Policy, which could potentially help around 700,000 older people in Haiti.
  • In response to ADA campaigners, the Ministry of Health in Kyrgyzstan has created a working group whose main aim will be to consider introducing gerontological services throughout Kyrgyzstan. The group will also set up a resource centre for older people.
  • Mr Shehada, our campaign leader in Gaza, met Dr Yousef Abu Alreish, the manager of the general directorate for hospitals to discuss the services provided for older people in hospitals. As a result of the discussions, Dr Yousef pledged to send a formal letter to all hospitals asking them to include older people in a list of priority groups for surgery and waiting lists.

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Comments submitted for this page

  • ONGOM RUFINO (22nd December 2014)

    we desave the right to live a healthy life together with the communities

  • kunwar momin khan momin (8th April 2014)

    i want to be as worker in the org;because its a very nobel cause

  • Mike Kanyingi Kimuhu (4th April 2014)

    Thank you for the updates on ADA. ADA is a continuous process.
    This year WHD as members of HelpAge Advocacy team, we have an appointment with the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health Kenya. Older persons will deliver ADA note.
    Another Plus for us is that now we have HEALTH AND AGING DESK at the ministry of Health HQ.

  • Manikonda Prakash Rao (3rd April 2014)

    I am now at 75. I am much concerned about health of elderly. According to medical reports hyper secretion of mucus is common feature in elderly people. As a result they suffer more with infectious problems. Please see my exercises under Google by typing "Asthma control exercises of Manikonda" One can bring under control respiratory health problems under control.

  • Umoja Wa Wazee (17th February 2014)

    We find this is great and wish if we can be included in such programes we are a new group of old people in a Ward in Sengerema District Mwanza Region in Tanzania. Thanks for taking concern to the eldery and lets also forcus on preparing young peoples health so the meet their old age n good condition

  • Ogungbohun Kayode Joseph (24th January 2014)

    I wish to have World Health Organisation designated days in year 2014 such as world cancer day, world hypertension day and so on. You can also copy

  • KALLIRROI NIKOLI (20th September 2013)

    To reach old age in good health requires combined efforts of the individual and a civil and friendly social environment

  • Md. Faruque Hossain (29th August 2013)

    Nice effort. Bangladesh also a very hypertensive prone area and Its a major public Health problem in Bangladesh. The prevalence of HTN is day by day increasing trend.

  • Joseph Vijay Panicker (28th June 2013)

    I wish share my expierence that GOD LIVES.PRAYER HAS POWER.On 7th I had a massive stroke of 3rd degree attack of pheneomoneia I invailid (vegetable) for 8mths,2day I am hail&hearty at the age of 69yrs.My friends and relatives all over World prayed for me.I THANK all of them.

  • Manikonda Prakash Rao (31st May 2013)

    Dear sir,
    I am now 74 years old and entering 75th year next month i.e., June 2013. As a result of asthma I discontinue practice as advocate in high court Hyderabad India. Devised exercises by which respiratory diseases can brought under control within 30 to 40 minutes.I am very healthy at this age. I advice my other senior citizens to do exercises for 30 minutes a day. I request all my friends to request UN Authorities to have world conferences of senior citizens for exchange of views and other interactions so that they may know or learn from others they way they are living.

    Manikonda Prakash Rao

  • James Mbungyuh Tseyah (30th May 2013)

    We need need to look after the health of the elderly with a lot of care and concern.
    They were once like us remember.

  • sudama prasad (18th May 2013)

    It is very informitive in the interest of human

  • shaddychu (18th April 2013)

    health is the key of life

  • kali prasad saha (10th April 2013)

    most of the hypertension pts unfortunately feel once b.p.reduces they stop taking medicine.It should be emshasised that drugs should be contiued life long

  • Barbara from HelpAge International (9th April 2013)

    Dear friends, thank you for the wonderful comments.

    Ebenezer we have an office in Ghana and they do organise fantastic campaigns for older people.

    Roland unfortunately we do not have partners in Cameroon but I do agree that health services affect many countries all over Africa.

    Balakrishna and Dr.Logilunore thank you for your comments. Please encourage others to provide feedback. We really appreciate them.

  • anjali r bhise (6th April 2013)

    lot of awareness really needed

  • Veena Sahu (5th April 2013)

    Good work for Elderly Health.

  • Kouadio Yahot Pascal (4th April 2013)

    How about Côte d'Ivoire? We need a such organisation in the profit of older people for better life

  • Joseph Vijay Panicker (4th April 2013)

    Iwish to volunteer for this noble cause.

  • ebenezer yankson (29th March 2013)

    I admire this programme which i hope will be extended to my country Ghana.lets all give our support for this.

  • roland t (29th March 2013)

    How about cameroon ,i wonder if its included in the 40 countries mention.if yes how can i get action with them.

  • Balakrishna (29th March 2013)

    Really good alarming to take care and prevent.Need to provite the practical tips to prevent and implement.

  • Dr. Solomon Ole' Logilunore (29th March 2013)

    It is true that Hypertension is most common diseases of old aged but most of the hospital staff and especially the para medics do not know how to manage the condition. Many dispensaries and health centres dont even have a BP monitor.Please Governments train and give staff the equipments and expertize.

Universal Health Coverage

Age-inclusive UHC needs:

  • Inclusion of older people in health and care services,

  • Affordable health services for older people,

  • Access to essential medicines,

  • A sufficient number of well-trained health and care workers.

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