The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Objective 3: Access to food and adequate nutrition for all older persons.

Actions: (a) Promote equal access to clean water and safe food for older persons; (b) Achieve food security by ensuring a safe and nutritionally adequate food supply at both the national and international levels...(c) Promote lifelong healthy and adequate nutrition from infancy, with particular attention to ensuring that specific nutritional needs of men and women throughout the life course are met; (d) Encourage a balanced diet to provide adequate energy and prevent macro-and micro-nutrient deficiency, preferably based on local foods through, inter alia, developing national dietary goals; (e) Pay particular attention to nutritional deficiencies and associated diseases in the design and implementation of health promotion and prevention programmes for older persons;

(f) Educate older persons and the general public, including informal caregivers, about specific nutritional needs of older persons, including adequate intake of water, calories, protein, vitamins and minerals;...(i) Ensure appropriate and adequate provision of accessible nutrition and food for older persons in hospital and other care settings.

Investing in healthcare and rehabilitation for older persons extends their healthy and active years...Effective care for older persons needs to integrate physical, mental, social, spiritual and environmental factors.

Primary healthcare is essential healthcare based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation, and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development, in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. Older persons can experience financial, physical, psychological and legal barriers to healthcare services. They may also encounter age discrimination and age-related disability discrimination in the provision of services because their treatment may be perceived to have less value than the treatment of younger persons.

We recognize the gravity of the public health problems afflicting many developing countries and least developed countries, especially those resulting from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics. We stress the need for the World Trade Organization agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights to be part of the wider national and international action to address these problems.

Intellectual property protection is important for the development of new medicines. We also recognize the concerns about its effects on prices. We agree that the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights does not and should not prevent member states from taking measures to protect public health. Accordingly, while reiterating our commitment to the agreement, we affirm that the agreement can and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of the right of governments to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all.

Governments have the primary responsibility for setting and monitoring standards of healthcare as well as providing healthcare for all ages. Partnerships among governments, civil society, including non-governmental and community-based organizations, and the private sector constitute valuable contributions to the services and the care for older persons. It is crucial, however, to recognize that services provided by families and communities cannot be a substitute for an effective public health system.

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