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Aging is excluded from WHO work program. Please react!

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whologoDear friends,

I wanted to bring to your attention an important and urgent issue for aging care and research.

It turns out that in the forthcoming work program of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the years 2019-2023 – the issue of aging and aging-related ill health is excluded completely! This means that, within the next 5-6 years (2018 given to the program deliberations), according to this document, the World Health Organization is not obliged to do anything to care for the health of older persons or to improve their health, not to mention conduct any research and development to create new therapies and technologies for improving the health of the aged, or any kind of longevity research. The issues of aged health are not in the WHO work program! This is the essence of ageism in health care and health research!

Currently, the WHO conducts a public consultation about the draft Work Program. Please use the link below to participate in the consultation! Please explain to the World Health Organization that the issue of Aging is important, and the care and improvement of health of the aged, also through increasing biomedical R&D of aging, are important! The consultation fields are easy to fill in, and even a couple of sentences, with your affiliation, could help break the ageist wall! The consultation takes place until November 29 (extended deadline). Please also spread the word in your circles. Thank you for your action!

In the words of Jane Barratt, Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) that brings this issue to the highlight of global public discussion: “We urge the WHO to rectify the glaring omission of population ageing and older people in the draft 13th General Programme of Work. It is a striking oversight that will diminish its credibility among all of us.  Make your voice heard.”

It can be added that  it will be very regretful if aging is excluded from the WHO work program. For one, it will tell the governments that aging is not an issue. And practically, many existing and future health care and health research programs on aging can be eliminated.

Please make your voice heard. We do need to increase publicity about this outrageous issue of the exclusion of aging health from the draft WHO work program. Please do respond to the WHO consultation on behalf of your organization. Please demand that WHO includes aging health, including biomedical R&D on aging, into its Work Program. Please help spread the word – share, forward, post, contact bloggers, journalists, officials. Thank you for your action.


Ilia Stambler, PhD

On behalf of Vetek (Seniority) Association – the Senior Citizens Movement (Israel)

Longevity for All

See also this facebook post.

And also see: The joint position statement, entitled “Aging health and R&D for healthy longevity must be included into the WHO Work Program” published in Aging and Disease. 9(1):1-3, 2018. Available on line:

The signatories include leaders of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD), American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), International Federation on Ageing (IFA), International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics – IAGG (European Region and Asia-Oceania), International Longevity Center – Australia, The Gerontological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences, African Society for Ageing Research and Development (ASARD), Israeli Longevity Alliance/Vetek (Seniority) Association (Israel).

You may consider some of the points raised in that position statement, and are welcome to reference this document in your advocacy efforts!

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