WKC Forum: Creating resilient society and community for ageing populations in disaster situations, 20 February 2015

During the last 20 years since the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in Japan, a great deal of effort has been made in communities and by local and national Governments, and with the international community to prepare, respond, and recover from natural disasters. International organizations such as WHO and UNISDR, have developed specific guidance for various aspects of the disaster continuum.

Japan has the largest proportion of older adults in the world. As a result, aged populations were much more affected in the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. This has an impact on one of the biggest issues confronting communities caring for survivors that include their health, psycho-social, and physical needs.

WHO Kobe Centre will organize an open, public forum on “Creating resilient society and community for ageing populations in disaster situations” in Kobe and discuss lessons from past disasters to guide how to create a more resilient ageing society that can better prepare for future disasters and support survivors.

Intersectoral Action for Health (ISA)

Intersectoral action for health (ISA) refers to the inclusion of several sectors in addition to the health sector when designing and implementing public policies to improve quality of life. To promote ISA, WKC developed a guidance booklet titled “Intersectoral Action on Health, a path for policy-makers to implement effective and sustainable action on health” in 2011 and have since documented ISA experiences through case studies. The guidance booklet is now in preparation for revision.

In May 2014, WKC held the Expert Consultation to collectively review and develop recommendations for the revision of the guidance booklet. The meeting report highlights recent global developments and experiences in ISA and a synthesis of the recommendations for the revision of the booklet.

In addition, new recent publications on ISA case studies in local governments conducted by WKC have been published. The findings provide valuable insight into the common challenges and success factors for local governments to mobilize ISA for better health outcomes.

Survey of Needs for Assistive and Medical Devices for Older People in Six Countries of the WHO Western Pacific Region


WHO Kobe Centre prepared the report of a survey of needs for assistive and medical devices for older people in six countries of the Western Pacific Region: China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam.

Innovations in health technologies, and associated health and social delivery systems, are critical to preventing and managing functional and cognitive decline that older populations increasingly experience, as well as to reduce long-term institutionalization.

The research identifies priority assistive and medical devices for older people, provides a better understanding of contributing factors for their availability and proposes approaches to improve access to high quality assistive and medical devices at an affordable cost in high-income and middle-income countries.

WKC Forum: Innovation for Ageing Populations
– Enhancing adherence: medication and nutrition

In commemoration of the UN International Day of Older Persons celebrated every year on 1 October, the WHO Kobe Centre will organize an open forum on “Innovation for Ageing Populations – Enhancing adherence: medication and nutrition” in Kobe. 60 participants were in attendance to learn about the latest innovations for older populations to improve medical adherence and the well-being of elderly patients; and the useful nutrition insight for older adults.

Today, more important to supporting treatment success depends on the extent to which a person’s behaviour – taking medication, following a diet, and/or executing lifestyle changes – corresponds with agreed recommendations from a health care provider. This is the concept of “adherence”. Adherence to therapies is a primary determinant of treatment success.

At this forum, four Japanese experts in the field of gerontology, medication, and nutrition, presented their respective evidence-based body of work and strategic recommendations in moving forward on addressing current and emerging challenges on medical adherence and nutrition in ageing populations.

fact buffet

Measuring urban health

828 millionurban residents live in slum conditions worldwide

Measuring urban health

Interventions on urban health

11%of the world population are protected by national smoke-free laws

Interventions on urban health

Urban health emergencies

600 000deaths occurred worldwide as a result of weather-related natural disasters in the 1990s

Urban health emergencies