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HANOI - The World Health Organization (WHO) marked World Health Day 2012 Saturday with a campaign to promote healthy aging as the proportion of older people continues to grow worldwide.
"It's important that we see old age not as a time of inevitable decline but as one of active, meaningful and productive living," said WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Shin Young-soo, "The rapid ageing of the world's population has no precedent."
"Fortunately, how we age depends to a large degree on how we behave. By watching what we eat, being physically active and avoiding exposure to tobacco and the harmful effects of alcohol consumption, we can add both years to our life and life to our years," said Shin.
"On World Health Day and every day, we must recognize the contributions of older persons," Shin added. "We must work together to promote healthy and active aging."
Responding to the campaign, a meeting was also held by the Ministry of Health Friday with the theme Good Health Adding Life to Years.
"The population in Viet Nam is the youngest it has been for decades, but we need to prepare for an aging workforce to ensure socio-economic development," said the ministry's legislation department director Tran Duc Long.
More than 100 elderly people were given check ups and medicine at the event.
Ministry statistics said that Viet Nam had 8.15 million elderly citizens, making up 9.4 per cent of the country's population. The total population will continue to increase through 2050 reaching 111 million people. However, the older population of people over age 60 will exceed the younger generation of children under 14 by 2032. The median age in Viet Nam will increase 8.2 years over the next 20 years from 28.5 years today to 36.7 years in 2030.
After the event, a series of charity health examination programs will be organized in nine northern provinces in efforts to provide comprehensive healthcare for people in rural areas.