Ageing and health in the Arab region: Challenges, opportunities and the way forward

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In many countries of the Arab region, the demographic transition is already underway with a decrease in fertility and mortality and a rise in the proportion of older adults. Longer life expectancies and higher burden of non-communicable disease co-morbidities bring new health and social concerns to families, societies and governments. In a number of countries in the Arab region, this is compounded with political turmoil, forced displacement, dynamic migration flows and economic and social instability that deplete family cohesion and exhaust societal resources. Such challenges require systematic changes to healthcare and social services delivery. Amidst a number of strategies for interventions that aim at maximizing health and well-being in old age, we focus in this paper on three fundamental approaches that are largely lacking in the Arab region: an integrated and holistic model of healthcare, policies and programmes that incentivize ageing in place and homecare, and knowledge production addressing local concerns and priorities.

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