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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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About the IFA






Exclusive! Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons

The International Federation on Ageing and Bayer HealthCare Animal Health are hosting a web conference on Thursday, September 25, 2014 with leading experts to announce the release of a new report Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons.
To attend, please [register for the event here].

The [Executive Summary] is now available!  Please attend the web conference for more information on the Full Report.


Support Local Community Action Against the Ebola Virus in Liberia

ebola-liberia2As of September 22, 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 863 confirmed cases and 631 deaths from the Ebola virus in Liberia. The WHO suspects there are about 817 cases and 364 deaths that have gone unreported since the outbreak. Liberia is now seen as the epicenter of the outbreak with approximately half the infected cases and deaths occurring in Liberia. The number of Ebola cases is expected to grow exponentially in the coming weeks; the WHO has anticipated approximately 1342 new cases and 544 deaths.

Increases in demand from the Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) are continuing to outstrip capacity in Liberia. The clinics are currently filled to capacity and a number of infected people who were not able to get into the clinic had to go back to their houses. People in the community are upset by the lack of treatment and for the sick individuals returning home, increasing the chance of transmission.

In Liberia the renewed focus is on community engagement strategies. The Coalition of Caregivers and Advocates for the Elderly in Liberia (COCAEL), comprising of representatives from provider agencies, caregivers and advocates in collaboration with the Ageing Unit of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) have set up an Ebola Response Committee to design strategies and mobilize resources to provide an effective Ebola response for older people in Liberia.

To ensure that older people in Liberia, who are bearing the brunt of this health crisis, remain survivors and not victims of the deadly Ebola Virus the COCAEL is asking for donations to be able to provide food and perishable items, preventative and awareness materials.

Read COCAEL’s Press Release [here].

[Donate here] and all proceeds will go to local communities associated with COCAEL.


Global World Sight Day Event

WSD14_logoOn October 9, 2014, Mexico City will be hosting an international day of awareness about avoidable blindness and its prevention entitled World Site Day (WSD).  The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the Mexican Society of Ophthalmology (SMO) are committed to ensuring that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) blindness prevention objectives are met.  The event will include lectures by renowned ophthalmologists and eye care leaders from around the world discussing the latest in eye health practices and roadmaps for the future.  The IAPB hopes to ensure that eye health is on the agenda of key government, corporate, and NGO stakeholders over the next few years.

Bob McMullan, President, IAPB will be chairing the event. “Universal Eye Health embodies many critical aspects of successful eye health practice”, he said. “No one should needlessly go blind. Those with permanent sight loss should be able to meet their potential. Together we can deliver on these objectives – World Sight Day is a great opportunity to renew our commitment”.

View the full press release [here].

Vision Problems Increase the Risk of Early Death in Older People

istock_000017472301large_wide-27dbcc7aa2c149ea03d15aea37f6617041dbe9b5-s40-c85While vision loss does not directly predict an increased risk of death, it is the correlation to a loss of independence that has affected older adults quality of life in later years.  Good vision is necessary for activities of daily living such as shopping, managing money, and doing housework.  The correlation of losing visual acuity equivalent to one letter on an eye chart each year was a 16 percent increase in mortality risk over eight years, due to a loss in independent living abilities.  Reducing this risk by getting a regular eye exam and dealing with impairments can help to maintain independence in later life, in addition to remaining physically active and postponing certain functional declines for as long as possible.

Read the full article by Nancy Shute [here].

Beyond the Boomers: Facing the Global Challenges of Ageing

3a566f8While a significant proportion of the ageing population consists of those born between 1946 and 1964, also known as the Baby Boomers, they still only represent a small fraction of the world’s ageing population.  The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division estimate that by 2050, 80 percent of the global ageing population will reside in developing regions.   Additionally, China, Japan, and Western European nations also have boom generations that are beginning to reach their later years.

Ageing populations combined with low birth rates have caused cultural shifts for governments on a macro level and financial amendments on an individual level.  Healthy ageing has become an important factor for the global ageing population that can be obtained through diet, exercise and appropriate medicines that pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer promote.

“Corporations such as Pfizer are to be applauded for the significant contribution they have made to the dialogue on ageing and the introduction of their Get Old Initiative in 2012 that dispels many of the myths about ageing, encouraging healthier lifestyles across all ages.  A quote from the Get Old website could not be more accurate when it states that it’s time to tell the truth about ageing.  The less you fear it, the more you’ll enjoy it.  In fact, it can be the best time of your life.” said Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General of the IFA.

Click [here] for the full article.

Click [here] to view the Get Old Initiative.

Will the United Nations Overlook Ageing Once Again? - 12th Global Conference on Ageing Symposium


From June 11 – 13, 2014, the IFA was honoured by the presence of our United Nations Representatives in New York at our 12th Global Conference on Ageing in Hyderabad, India.  Ms. Helen Hamlin, Ms. Valerie Levy, Ms. Cynthia Stuen, and Ms. Mary Mayer were a tremendous force at the conference and added significantly to the discourse through their meaningful comments and expert knowledge.

As part of their contributions to the conference, the IFA representatives gathered together during the morning session of June 11th to host an important symposium entitled “Will the United Nations Overlook Ageing Once Again?” discussing their work at the UN promoting the human rights of older people and the push towards a new international convention on the rights of older people.

Each of the UN Representatives spoke on a specific topic, ranging from the history of older people’s human rights initiatives at the UN, the  post-2015 Agenda, the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and an overview of the role of NGOs in UN processes.

All the presentations from the session are included below:

Ms. Mary Mayer’s presentation which contains a background and overview of the Sustainable Development Goals and the post 2015 agenda can be read online [here]

Ms. Cynthia Stuen’s presentation discussing the process of United Nations Open Working Groups can be viewed online [here]

Ms. Helen Hamlin’s presentation which discusses the role of NGOs is available online [here]

Ms. Valerie Levy’s presentation which discusses the development of advocacy strategies at the local level can be viewed online here [speech] [presentation]

Read more news →