Washington, D.C., 4 April 2012 (PAHO/WHO)-- Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick proclaimed 7 April 2012 to be World Health Day and urged citizens to participate in the day’s events, which this year are dedicated to healthy aging with the theme “Good health adds life to years.”
World Health Day 2012 “emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which includes physical activity, access to health care and social engagements that can enhance the quality of life, independence, and productivity of older adults, help them lead productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities,” asserted the proclamation signed by Governor Patrick on 28 March.
By 2020, the Americas will have 200 million older people, almost double the figure for 2006, with more than half living in Latin America and the Caribbean. The increase in life expectancy and consequent growth in the older population has brought about a health transition characterized by a rise in non-communicable diseases and disability and a wider demand for health care.
The statement adds that the increase in older populations “necessitates cooperation between social, economic, political, government, business, civic organizations, and academia in order to address the challenges that stem” from this situation.
With this proclamation, Massachusetts joins in the World Health Organization’s annual celebration, which is held every 7 April to observe the anniversary of its founding in 1948. World Health Day provides an opportunity to launch a collective action on an international health challenge and involve different actors in seeking solutions.
“It is appropriate to recognize the policy makers, business and non-profit leaders, and health care professionals that help further the World Health Organization’s mission,” concluded the proclamation from Massachusetts.
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is promoting events in the countries of the region and at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. in observance of World Health Day and to promote the sharing of ideas and partnerships for activities to ensure healthy aging.