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April 07 is World Health Day, World Health Day is celebrated every year to honour the founding of World Health Organization (WHO).

Every year, World Health Day focuses on a single health challenge with global impact.

"World Health Day 2012 focuses on how good health can add life to years, enabling older men and women to not only live longer, but also to extend their active involvement in all levels of society."

This year the theme is : ' Ageing and Health.'

The slogan is: "Good health adds life to years."

 World Health Day, 2012.

According to WHO's report,  population ageing is one of the world's biggest social transformation. The world will soon have more older people than children. More people will be living to 80 or 90.

More children will know their great grandparents.

This year World Health Day raises awareness of how important health is during the older years.

Healthy ageing can be traced to as early as during development in the womb. They are avoidable risk factors that are the responsibility of parents.

As the person reaches early adult life,  the functional capacity of his biological system peaks and begins to decline.

The rate of decline is determined by lifestyle behaviours and exposure to health risks throughout the lifespan. The health risks, in particular are:
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Exposure to toxins
The main health challenges for people in the older years are non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancer. They are associated with exposure to these lifestyle habits.

Reducing exposure to these health risks in earlier years can promote a healthier you in older years, but exposure to the healthier habits in older years can add life to years.

WHO is calling on action to be taken to ensure the health of older adults are protected through healthy behaviours.
Read about this global call to action.