Health and Well-being of Older Persons

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Rationale         

The proportion of older persons is expected to rise worldwide.  In the 1998 World Health Report, there were 390 million older people and this figure is expected to increase further (WHO).  This growth will certainly pose a challenge to country governments, particularly to the developing countries, in caring for their aging population.  In the Philippines, the population of 60 years or older was 3.7 million in 1995 or 5.4% of total population.  In the CY 2000 census, this has increased to about 4.8 million or almost 6% (NSCB). At present there are 7M senior citizens (6.9% of the total population), 1.3M of which are indigents.

With the rise of the aging population is the increase in the demand for health services by the elderly.  A study done by Racelis et al (2003) on the share of health expenditure of Filipino elderly on the National Health Account, the elderly are “relatively heavy consumers of personal health care (22%) and relatively light consumers of public health care (5%).” From out-of-pocket costs, the aged are heavy users of care provided by medical centers, hospitals, non-hospital health facilities and traditional care facilities.

Cognizant of the growing concerns of the older population, laws and policies were developed which would provide them with enabling mechanisms for them to have quality life.  RA 9257 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003 (predecessor of RA 9994) provided for the expansion of coverage of benefits and privileges that the elderly may acquire, including medically necessary services.  Parallel to this objective is the Department’s desire to provide affordable and quality health services to the marginalized population, especially the elderly, without impeding currently pursued objectives and alongside health systems reform.

One of the provisions of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens act of 2010 is for the DOH to administer free vaccination against the influenza virus and pneumococcal diseases for indigent senior citizens. The DOH in coordination with local government units (LGUs), NGOs and POs for senior citizens shall institute a national health program and shall provide an integrated health service for senior citizens. It shall train community – based health workers among senior citizens health personnel to specialize in the geriatric care and health problems of senior citizens.

 

Interventions/Strategies Implemented by DOH

        1.    Creation of a National Technical Working Group on the Health and Well-being of Older Persons (DPO. No. 2011- 3578 dated June 29, 2011 Chaired by NCDPC- Director III.

       2.    Planning Meeting for the Senior Citizens Immunization Program

       3.    Consultative Planning and Finalization of Immunization Guidelines for Indigent Senior Citizens

      4.    Provision of  Pneumococcal and Flu Vaccines to Indigent Senior Citizens aged 60 years old and above using the NHTS of the DSWD including  GO – NGO shelter homes in 2011      

      5.    Conduct annual “ Summer Camp ni Lolo at Lola “

      6.    Support  the annual “Walk for Life” for the elderly every October

 

Status of Implementation / Accomplishment

       1.    The  total pneumococcal and influenza vaccines delivered to all CHD’s for the CY 2011 were 197,000 and 173,000 respectively including the sub-allotment per region  for HWOP activities.

       2.    Training and Orientation of  Pneumo and Flu Vaccines for HWOP Coordinators

       3.    Signed Guidelines to Implement the Provisions Relevant to Health of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

      4.    Summer Camp ni Lolo at Lola 2012 held at Davao, City.

      5.    Support  World Health Day  April 12, 2012 with the theme “ Ageing and Health “ in coordination with NCHP and WHO

 

Future Plan / Action

       1.    Pneumococcal and Influenza Vaccines for CY 2012 still with COBAC

       2.    Support to Walk for Life Activity on October 2012.

       3.    Summer Camp nina Lolo at Lola 2013

 

Program Manager:

      Ms. Remedios Guerrero

        Department of Health-Non Communicable Disease Office (DOH NCDPC-DDO)

        Contact Number: 651-78-00 local 1750-1752