Prioritizing Vaccination in At-Risk Groups

Posted on January 18th, 2019 by Paula Colaso under News

Outcomes of the Belfast and Stockholm Meetings on Adult Vaccination


This past fall, the IFA held meetings in Belfast, United Kingdom (6-7 September 2018) and Stockholm, Sweden (11-12 October 2018, in collaboration with the Swedish Heart and Lung Association) to raise the profile of adult vaccination in disease-specific groups including people with diabetes and people with heart and lung conditions.

Both meetings brought together experts in diverse fields including ageing, vaccination, public health, diabetes and heart and lung conditions, along with disease-specific patient organizations, to raise awareness of the seriousness of vaccine-preventable diseases and highlight the preventive role of vaccination in maintaining health.

While each meeting focused on distinct patient groups, there was significant intersection in the barriers needing to be addressed to improve adult vaccination awareness and uptake.

Barriers to Adult Vaccination

Resulting from the Belfast and Stockholm meetings, the following barriers were indicated as presenting a challenge to increasing adult vaccination uptake rates in at-risk groups:

Proposed Strategies for Increasing Adult Vaccination Rates

Each meeting also examined strategies to improve vaccination uptake in people with diabetes and heart and lung conditions.  These approaches are already underway and will continue to build momentum in collaboration with partners throughout 2019.

They include:

Much can be learned from the dialogue and resulting initiatives of the Belfast and Stockholm meetings.  These meetings provided in-depth insight into the level of awareness of vaccination in specific patient groups, and the commitment to improving the knowledge base of these groups in an effort to enhance awareness and ultimately increase adult vaccination uptake rates.

To further explore the outcomes of these beneficial meetings, read the Belfast and Sweden reports:


Webinar Announcement: Human Rights of Older Persons and Agenda 2030

Posted on January 16th, 2019 by Paula Colaso under News

With a rapidly ageing global population, addressing the and harnessing the opportunities that older people experience is of great importance.  In August 2018, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) hosted the 14th Global Conference on Ageing in Toronto, Canada, with 1200 experts gathering from around the world.  The theme of this conference was Towards a Decade of Healthy Ageing – From Evidence to Action and the IFA is compelled to mobilize the knowledge and learning from this conference with its members and beyond.  To ensure that evidence continues to be translated following the conference, the IFA is hosting a Post-Conference Education Webinar Series to mobilize conference themes and presentations to a larger audience.

Human Rights of Older Persons and Agenda 2030 is the first webinar of the series and will address key areas for implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that ensures it fulfils its mandate for older persons.

Webinar Information:

Tuesday 29 January 2019, 12:00 – 1:00pm EST


Register Now


This webinar is a part of the Post-Conference Education Webinar Series’ first learning program: Combating Ageism.  Discrimination against individuals based on their age has serious consequences on many aspects of an older person’s life, such as health, wellbeing, employment, housing and access to social and care systems.

Please contact Ms Hannah Girdler to be placed on the mailing list for further updates regarding the Post-Conference Webinar Series.

World Braille Day 2019

Posted on January 7th, 2019 by Paula Colaso under News

The World Blind Union celebrated World Braille Day on 4 January 2019, declared by the United Nations as an international day to commemorate the importance of braille. This day recognized the right of access to braille by blind people and raised awareness on its relevance.

Braille has received recognition by the UN, especially in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): under Article 9 on accessibility which calls on states to provide signage in braille and in easy to read and understand forms in buildings and other facilities open to the public; Article 21 which requires the provision of information in accessible formats including braille and Article 24 in which states parties shall facilitate the learning of braille.

The Marrakesh Treaty is also celebrated for recognizing braille as critical in providing accessible information to visually impaired persons. The Treaty obliges all ratifying states to ensure that published works and books are produced in accessible formats including braille.

However, there are numerous challenges in the use and learning of braille:

Call for actions

After observing World Braille Day, the World Blind Union is calling upon states to take the following actions:

For more information about the UN recognition of the World Braille Day go to:


The World Blind Union (WBU) is the global organization that represents the estimated 253 million people worldwide who are blind or partially sighted. Members consist of organizations of blind people advocating on their own behalf and organizations that serve the blind, in over 190 countries, as well as international organizations working in the field of vision impairment. Visit theirwebsite at

For further information, please contact:

Terry Mutuku

Communications Officer, World Blind Union

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