UHC Efforts Need To Focus On Inclusivity Of All Ages, Genders, Especially Older Women

Devex: Opinion: Time to deliver on older women’s health
Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance, and Kate Bunting, CEO of HelpAge USA

“…Leveling the playing field earlier in a woman’s life has exponential impacts across her lifetime. An education helps her earn a better income; reproductive health care enables her to plan for a family; and access to appropriate health services ensures she can be there for her family and participate in what matters to her. Preventing and treating [non-communicable diseases (NCDs)] across the life course will not only help her live longer, it will also improve her odds of having enough resources to manage multiple challenges later on. … Older women … are at risk of ‘multiple jeopardy’ where social disadvantages — such as lower education levels, lack of secure income, lack of mobility, and widowhood — combine to exacerbate age-related disabilities and chronic conditions. Currently, global health and development discussions remain largely focused on girls and women of reproductive age, even though older women will represent an increasingly larger proportion of the world population. If universal health coverage is to be meaningful in name and spirit, we need to focus on all ages and pair that with the need to transform health systems to a chronic care model, which is essential for aging populations with large NCD burdens…” (7/1).