World Health Day

Your World Health Day campaign – general approach

World Health Day 2012 - Toolkit for event organizers

Key messages, target audiences

WHO promotes a healthy lifestyle across the life-course to save lives, protect health and alleviate disability and pain in older age. Age-friendly environments and early detection of disease as well as prevention and care improve the wellbeing of older people. Population ageing will hamper the achievement of socioeconomic and human development goals if action is not taken today.

With this year's World Health Day campaign, WHO wants to go beyond awareness-raising to elicit concrete action and positive change. The World Health Day campaign aims to engage all of society – from policy makers and politicians to older people and youth – to:

  • take action to create societies which appreciate and acknowledge older people as valued resources and enable them to participate fully; and to
  • help protect and improve health as we age.

The day can be used to highlight how this change can be brought about, giving examples of how older people contribute to their families and their communities in different parts of the world. You can set up your own World Health Day 2012 campaign, using the WHO key messages and materials.

Target audiences

  • Policy-makers in governments and international organizations
  • City and municipality leaders
  • Health-care providers
  • Civil society groups
  • Researchers
  • Private sector entities
  • Older people, their caregivers, service providers and families
  • Community leaders
  • Youth and youth groups
  • General public

Key messages

  • Older people are a valuable resource for their societies and should feel valued.
  • Good health throughout life helps us make the most of the positive aspects of ageing.
  • Societies who take care of their older populations, and support their active participation in daily life, will be better prepared to cope with the changing world.

Calls to action

Good health in older age can be achieved by:

  • Promoting health across the life-course.
  • Creating age-friendly environments that foster the health and participation of older people.
  • Providing access to basic primary health care, long-term care and palliative care.
  • Acknowledging the value of older people and help them participate fully in family and community life.

Expected results

  • Greater appreciation that good health across the life-course contributes to a happy and productive older age
  • People become aware of ageist stereotypes and support older people in being active, resourceful and respected members of society.
  • Governments implement innovative strategies to ensure good health for the elderly.
  • Governments take action now to anticipate and address public health challenges related to population ageing. This is particularly important in low- and middle-income countries, which are experiencing the fastest ageing.
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