• 9/30/2023
    Doha, 30 September 2023: Dr. Hanadi Al-Hamad, head of the WHO Collaborating Center for Healthy Ageing and Dementia, and her team at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) are proud to support and participate in the United Nations (UN) International Day of Older Persons (IODP), which underlines a national commitment to creating a better world for older adults in Qatar. IODP is recognized globally on October 1 every year; the theme for this year is ‘Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations’.

    The United Nations (UN) states that the number of people aged 65 years or older worldwide is projected to more than double, rising from 761 million in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 2050; and the number of people aged 80 years or older is growing even faster. The premise for  promoting healthy ageing is that longer life can bring with it great opportunities, not only for older people and their families, but also for societies as a whole. However, the extent of these opportunities and contributions depends heavily on the overall health of the older population. The UN states that all countries face major challenges to ensure that their health and social systems are ready to make the most of this demographic shift.

    Deputy Chief for Long-Term Care, Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care,  Dr. Al-Hamad, who is also the National Health Strategy Lead for Healthy Ageing, and the Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital and Qatar Rehabilitation Institute at HMC, said that Qatar actively supports the concept of healthy ageing, healthy and age-friendly cities and age-appropriate care.

    “HMC is committed to ensuring the well-being and dignity of its patients across generations and promoting the adoption of healthy lifestyle factors to facilitate healthy ageing is a key driver in the Corporation’s illness-prevention approach,” added Dr. Al-Hamad. “This year, we are happy to have a collaborative awareness program with Heart hospital to jointly celebrate World Heart Day and International Day of Older persons, as appropriately managing  the risk factors for heart disease will lead to healthy aging as well.”

    Dr. Al-Hamad explained that in her youth, the overall life expectancy in Qatar was significantly lower, and there was a general belief that someone who was aged 60 years or older was considered old and was encouraged to stay at home. With better healthcare services and improved living conditions, the life expectancy in Qatar now is around 80 years, and there is no reason why older people who feel fit enough should not be able to continue to live active and productive lives. 

    Dr. Al-Hamad explained that the public health sector is committed to providing a high standard of age-friendly healthcare and is vested in promoting geriatric skills among all healthcare workers taking care of elderly patients. 

    “We invite healthcare organizations, and healthcare professionals from all fields to join us in the 3Rd Qatar International Geriatrics and Dementia conference, which will be held at Sheraton hotel Doha from Oct 26-28. The comprehensive program led by world-renowned experts in the field will be interesting and informative to professionals dealing with older persons in any healthcare capacity. Together let us create the best possible health system and society for our elderly!”