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New global programme to support Governments to prevent ill health and learn from COVID-19

Following a year-long programme of work, including side events to the World Health Assembly and G20 Health Ministers, specialist think tank ILC-UK is tomorrow launching the second phase of its global programme on how healthcare systems can better prevent ill health in old age and what lessons can be learnt for governments across the world from COVID-19.

Speaking at the launch on 29 September will be:

  • Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum
  • Prof Walter Ricciardi, President, World Federation of Public Health Associations
  • Martin Jones, UK CEO, Home Instead Senior Care

Research by ILC-UK, the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity, has found that across better off countries, in 2017 alone, 27.1 million years were lived in poor health due to largely preventable age-related diseases, costing countries more than $600 billion in lost productivity every year.

Over the coming year, ILC-UK will be conducting research and engaging with stakeholders across the globe to understand not only why governments ought to prioritise prevention across the life course but how they can deliver it.

David Sinclair, Director, ILC-UK commented:

“The message is clear: It’s never too late to prevent ill health. And the health and economic costs of failing to invest in preventative interventions across the life course are simply too high to ignore.”

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made these messages staggeringly clear and brought home the urgent need to match commitment with action by democratising access to prevention, inspiring and engaging policymakers, healthcare professionals and individuals, and effectively utilising technology.”

“We know that prevention works, but for too long preventative services in health have been the first to be cut and the last to receive investment. In an ageing world, this needs to change.”

“2020 marks the launch of the WHO’s and UN’s Decade of Healthy Ageing. But we are still a long way off. Now we need to look for solutions. We need to learn from each other, and we need to put our money where our mouth is.”

Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, Member of Executive Committee, World Economic Forum, added:

“Keeping populations healthy and ensuring access for everyone to high quality care is at the core of our work on shaping the future of health and healthcare at the World Economic Forum. As global populations benefit from increased longevity, a lifespan approach to health is ever more critical to pre-empt the challenges that come with ageing.”

Martin Jones, UK CEO, Home Instead Senior Care commented:

“The pandemic has shone a light on health and social care systems like at no other time before.

“We need governments to urgently look at blurring the lines between health and social care to allow us to prioritise prevention, redefine the ageing experience and create better solutions for our ageing populations.

“Along with being the safest place to age, our homes will inevitably play an ever-increasing role as the hospitals of the future and the sooner we acknowledge, embrace and plan for this the better. Time is not on our side and COVID-19 has proved that.”

Sharon McHale, Head of Global Policy and Government Affairs, Seqirus:

“Older people and those with underlying conditions are at an increased risk from a second wave of coronavirus that will likely coincide with the influenza season. Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza. This year, it is more important than ever for older people to protect themselves from influenza.”

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Last Updated: 29-Sep-2020