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WHO launches digital app to improve healthcare for elderly

By Chris Kiwawulo

Added 2nd October 2019 03:32 PM

The innovative interactive digital application known as WHO ICOPE Handbook App provides practical guidance to address priority conditions including mobility limitations, malnutrition, vision and hearing loss, cognitive decline, depressive symptoms and social care and support.

WHO launches digital app to improve healthcare for elderly

The Integrated Care for Older People package of tools is the result of two years of extensive consultations with leading experts and stakeholders including civil society representatives. (File Photo)

The innovative interactive digital application known as WHO ICOPE Handbook App provides practical guidance to address priority conditions including mobility limitations, malnutrition, vision and hearing loss, cognitive decline, depressive symptoms and social care and support.

HEALTH          INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a package of tools, including a digital application, to help health and social workers provide better care for older people worldwide.

The innovative interactive digital application known as WHO ICOPE Handbook App provides practical guidance to address priority conditions including mobility limitations, malnutrition, vision and hearing loss, cognitive decline, depressive symptoms and social care and support.

According to a WHO statement, the app will be used in conjunction with a package of tools including a new handbook to accelerate training of health and social workers to better address the diverse needs of older people. 

"It is essential that services for older people are included in universal health care packages. At the same time, there needs to be good coordination between the health and social services to provide optimal care when needed.

The new package of tools supports healthy ageing with a person-centred and coordinated model of care" says Dr. Anshu Banerjee, the WHO director of the department of Maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health and ageing.

The world's population is ageing at a fast pace, and by 2050, one in five people will be over 60 years, according to WHO estimates.

The number of people aged over 80 years is projected to triple from 143 million people in 2019 to 426 million people in 2050.

In Uganda, the population of older persons (60 years and above) is expected to double to 2.5 million by the year 2040, projections by the gender ministry show, highlighting a need for a robust social protection system.

While every older person is different, physical and mental capacity tend to decline with increasing age.  "Such innovation will enable older people to continue doing the things they value and prevent them from social isolation and care dependency," says Dr Islene Araujo de Carvalho, group lead on ageing and integrated care at WHO.

Carvalho added; "Intervening close to where older people live, with the active participation of the community and older persons themselves, is essential for a personalised care plan."

The Integrated Care for Older People package of tools is the result of two years of extensive consultations with leading experts and stakeholders including civil society representatives. 

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals recognise that development will only be achievable if it is inclusive of people of all ages. Empowering older persons and enabling their full participation and social inclusion in good health are ways to reduce inequalities.     

 

 

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