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The Decade of Healthy Ageing: Interview with the World Health Organisation to mobilise change in the MENA region

Population ageing is often a neglected policy dimension in most low- and Middle-Income countries (LMICs) due to competing policy challenges associated with population growth, poverty and youth unemployment. However, the pace of population ageing is so fast that within as little as 20-40 years, some countries will transfer from young to ageing populations. In addition, healthy ageing is identified as an international priority through the UN Decade of Health Ageing (launched in December 2020) as part of the 2030 SDGs. Yet, awareness of these issues and the specific meaning of healthy ageing in the MENA region is minimal. More importantly, the voices of older people and their families are seldom heard.

The Decade of Healthy Ageing provides a useful framework to mobilise change towards ageing better across the globe. The MENA region is at the cusp of change towards older populations with a clear need for consorted actions over the next decade. As part of the MENARAH activities, Professor Hussein talks to Dr Christopher Mitken at the World Health Organisation Head Quarter in Geneva about the pillars of the Decade and how we can work together to improve the lives of older people in the region.

Dr Mikton presents the pillars of the Decade of Healthy ageing and emphasis the important role of the MENARAH network in mobilising this agenda in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

Founder and Director
Shereen Hussein is a Health and Social Care Policy professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom.
Shereen Founded the MENARAH Network in 2019, through an initial grant from the Global Challenge Research Fund, UKRI. She is a medical demographer with expertise in ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care systems. Shereen regularly collaborates with the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank in policy and research focused on ageing in the Middle East and North Africa Region.
Shereen received her undergraduate degree in statistics and a postgraduate degree in computer science at Cairo University. She completed an MSc in medical demography at the London School of Hygiene and a PhD in quantitative demography and population studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom.