Day 2 of the 64th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific

The second day started with the address of the incoming chairperson, Dr Leao Talalelei Tuitama. Commenting on the fruitful results from the past year in the Western Pacific region, he also reminded those present about the current problems in the region and urged the Director-General and Member States to contribute to growing efforts to eliminate these.

The second half of the morning focused on reviews of the program budget over the past year, and proposals for the budget of 2014 to 2015.

The first afternoon session focused on the topic of “Ageing and Health” – one of the most significant issues in global health at the moment. A number of guest speakers took to the podium to discuss this issue: Professor Xiulan Zhang, the Dean of the School of Social Development and Public Policy at Beijing Normal University, talked about inter-sectoral efforts to ensure healthy ageing in China; Dr Mitsuhiro Ushio, the Assistant Minister for Global Health in Japan, introduced policies on ageing implemented by the Japanese Ministry of Health; and Professor John McCallum, the Head of the Research Translation Group in Australia, discussed knowledge translation and evidence-based policy making.

Post afternoon tea, Member States made comments and suggested interventions with respect to healthy ageing. Dr John Beard, the Director of Ageing and Life at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, discussed the WHO Framework for Action on Ageing and Health. This framework involves 4 pillars which include: 1. Fostering an age-friendly environment through action across sectors; 2. Promoting healthy ageing across the life course and preventing functional decline and disease among people; 3. Re-orienting health systems to respond to the needs of older people; 4. Strengthening the evidence-base on ageing and health. All Member States unanimously agreed to adopting the “Regional Framework for Action on Ageing and Health in the Western Pacific 2014-2019” to help solve ageing-related problems.

By Andy Chen (FMS-Taiwan)

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