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International workshop promotes active ageing, mental health in ASEAN

Update: November, 19/2020 - 11:34


Deputy Minister of Health Trương Quốc Cường speaks at the workshop. Photo

HÀ NỘI — Foreign experts gathered at an international workshop to share their experience and make recommendations for promoting active ageing and mental health in ASEAN member states.

The two-day 'International Workshop on Strengthening Stakeholders Cooperation in Promoting Active Ageing and Mental Health in ASEAN', which ended yesterday, was held by the Ministry of Health, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), in both face-to-face and video conferencing forms.

It gathered more than 170 representatives from ASEAN member states and partners.

Deputy Minister of Health Trương Quốc Cường said the 21st century is viewed as the century of population ageing. ASEAN has the third-largest population in the world, after only China and India. The elderly (those aged above 65) number more than 45 million people, accounting for 7 per cent of the regional population. By 2030, this group of population is forecast to reach 132 million, or 16.7 per cent of the bloc’s population.

Singapore, Thailand, Việt Nam, and Malaysia are already considered ageing societies and expected to move to "super-aged” by 2050, he said.

He went on to talk about the situation in Việt Nam, saying the country entered the ageing phase in 2011 and remains among the most rapidly-ageing countries in the world. The elderly now account for 7.7 per cent of the national population, or 7.4 million people, with more than 2 million aged 80 or above.

It will take Việt Nam only 20 years to move from an ageing society, where the over-65s make up 14 per cent of the total population, to an aged one, where the percentage is more than 14 per cent, while such a transition took much longer in developed countries, such as France (115 years), Switzerland (85 years), Australia (73 years), and the US (69 years), the deputy minister noted.

Ageing-induced demographic changes have had a major impact on all socio-economic matters in each country, he continued, so the workshop offers a good opportunity for ASEAN countries to seek ways to ramp up the efforts of all stakeholders in enhancing care for the elderly and achieving an active ageing and healthy ASEAN Community as well as a cohesive and resilient ASEAN. — VNS

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