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Saturday, November 29, 2014

About the IFA


Diabetic Retinopathy Barometer Survey

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), working in collaboration with The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), have launched a new project, the first kind in the world, to gather information on awareness, policy, health care, and other services for people with diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema across 42 countries.

The IFA is seeking your valued support and insights in acting as respondents in the completion of a provider or a patient survey for the following countries: Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Uganda, Germany, and Australia. It would also be greatly appreciated if the enclosed survey links could be shared with relevant colleagues, organizations and people with diabetes:

Click here to learn more about the Diabetic Retinopathy Barometer Project and the impact that your participation will have.

 DR-SG Partnership Logos

Adult Vaccinations Global Campaign

IFA has created a global campaign to better understand the uptake of adult vaccinations and to promote awareness of the importance of vaccinations throughout the life course.

Take the Survey Today and get involved in the social media campaign! #Vaccine4Life

Immunization is a core component of the human right to health, a standard element in any effective, preventative public health approach, and an individual, community, and governmental responsibility.  Current advocacy efforts to promote the importance of immunization have focused primarily on children, yet there is a grave lack of awareness about the fact that older people are equally, if not more vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases.



Depth Perception: Fusion of Art and Culture

This summer six artists from Turkey came to Toronto to work with seven artists affiliated with OCAD University.  In one intense week, they produced art works which the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) auctioned off on November 19. Proceeds from the auction support the work of IFA to raise awareness about age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — the leading cause of vision loss in Canada and around the world. More than a million Canadians are living with AMD, 100,000 of whom have experienced blindness or partial sight as a result.

Rebecca Ladds

There are currently six pieces of artwork available for purchase!

Depth Perception Art Auction

On November 19th, 2014, in collaboration with OCAD University, the IFA successfully put on its first ever fundraiser, Depth Perception: The Fusion of Art and Culture.

The goal of the event, to raise awareness for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) by auctioning 13 incredible pieces of art work, could not be achieved without the generosity of our sponsors from Revera, Empire Life, Home Instead and Essential Conversations, public guests and most importantly, five of the artists from OCAD who were there showing their support.

The venue, ArtScape Youngplace, provided an open and clean space that allowed the depth and detail in each piece to be prominent and emphasized even more how much time and effort truly went into each piece of work.

Eight of the artworks have been sold, and among gift cards and ticket sales, an unbelievable $18,000 was raised from this event! That being said, five pieces of artwork are still available for purchase here and art gift cardsgift cards displaying each piece of artwork are also available for purchase. These cards are perfect to send to family and friends during the upcoming holidays, while still maintaining support and awareness towards AMD.

The IFA would like to personally thank all the artists who donated their time and work to the event, the sponsors, the event coordinator Ms Shelly Potter and to all OCAD staff for helping make this event the success that it was.

The Inaugural Clarence Pearson Internship in Global Health and Ageing


Call for Applications!

The American Federation for Aging Research is welcoming applications from graduate students in the New York City area for the inaugural Clarence Pearson Internship in Global Health and Aging.

During this internship, the main project will be leading an extensive audit of existing organizational, financial, and social resources for ageing populations and age-related research around the world.  These findings will not only make important cross-disciplinary contributions to the field of age-related research, but also inform the research to be conducted by future interns.

Along with this main role, interns will have opportunities to:

  • Meet and interview leaders at NYC-based aging and global health organizations
  • Gain deeper knowledge and scientific, clinical, and social science research in age-related health concerns
  • Write and help publish and distribute a white paper report and help develop strategies to share findings
  • Present findings before leaders in NYC-based ageing and global health organizations

The deadline to send in applications for this fantastic opportunity is December 22, 2014 For further information, please contact John Chaich, Communications Officer at john@afar.org or 212-703-9977.

Further information about this internship can be found here or go to AFAR’s website to learn more about AFAR’s mission and Clarence Pearson’s vision.

Seeing the Future Through the Power of Global Advocacy


An ophthalmologist performs a comprehensive eye exam in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province. Photo by: World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

If you had to choose one of your senses to live without, what would it be and why?

Many people would not be willing to give up their vision. It is how we perceive reality and how we interpret our environment.

It’s a common misconception that vision loss is an inevitable part of the ageing process. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 82 percent of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above, with uncorrected refractive errors being the main cause of visual impairment.

Innovations in diagnosis, biomedicine, nutrition, technology, and preventative care have nevertheless made it entirely possible to age with strong, healthy vision. WHO also states that 80 percent of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured. There is a sense of urgency as well as a global responsibility to address this leading cause of disability among this population.

Building a platform to strengthen organizational capacity and stimulate national and regional advocacy efforts is essential to ensure that this pertinent public health issue is a priority on every government’s agenda. Action in Global Advocacy mobilizes effective advocacy campaigns toward the goal of addressing preventable vision impairment and blindness across aging and vision organizations.

By Dana Bandola, Project Officer at the IFA

Please read the full article at Devex Global Views.

Check out the Healthy Means campaign and tweet using #HealthyMeans to showcase new ideas and ways we can work together to expand health care and live better lives.

We Were Older Then, We Are Younger Now

When is someone old?

A commentary written by Dr John Beard, Director of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organization, discusses the importance of reinventing our current health systems in ways that are both sustainable and can better meet the needs of those with multiple morbidities.

“Research suggests that while population ageing will certainly lead to an increase in expenditure on health care, the introduction of new technologies and treatments is likely to have a much bigger impact, as is john-beard-and-son-230pxthe natural tendency for countries and individuals to spend more on health as they get richer. There are also many inefficiencies in most health systems that have an enormous influence on costs.”

Dr Beard suggests a holistic approach such as using comprehensive health assessments as well as an interdisciplinary team of providers spanning the full range of services an older person may require, which would be both better for older persons and for the economic costs of the health system.

To read the full article, see the WHO Media Centre Commentaries.

Urbanization and Age-Friendly Cities


On November 6, 2014 Helen Hamlin, IFA Main Representative at the United Nations, will be moderating the NGO Committee on Ageing New York meeting on Urbanization and Age-Friendly Cities. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an Age-Friendly City as “an inclusive and accessible urban environment that promotes active ageing.”

The IFA has been a proud supporter of the age-friendly programme since its inception and is now partnering with WHO to lend its unique expertise in order to help ensure that Age Friendly World is an all-encompassing resource for all things related to age-friendliness and a useful community to connect all those across the world undertaking age-friendly initiatives.

Through its growing global reach via a large membership base and governmental network the IFA is uniquely placed to view the social and economic consequences of population ageing in the context of both its opportunities and challenges including financial protection, healthy ageing, age-friendly cities, health and social system change, labour market forces and the care continuum.

For more information, please see the Age-Friendly World Website.

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