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NHRC calls for better health facilities for elderly in India

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Mar 20, 2006 urged senior citizens and doctors to cooperate with each other to ensure better healthcare facilities for the elderly.

Inaugurating a health awareness week for the elderly, NHRC chief A.S. Anand said over 76 million people in India are senior citizens and efforts must be taken for ensuring care of their health.

"NHRC has lot of concern for these people and on this occasion, we appeal to doctors, non-governmental organisations and people in general to ensure healthy life at the sunset period of our seniors. A national policy on elders needs to be reviewed by the government," Anand said.

The five-day long awareness campaign will have sessions on different diseases like blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, hypertension, arthritis and diabetes for the elderly.

"It's an attempt to address crucial needs of the grey segment, and to spread awareness of diseases that affect them," said Mathew Cherian, chief of HelpAge India.

Old people from more than 30 Resident Welfare and Senior Citizens' Associations would be attending the sessions.

According to 2001 census, India is home to 76 million elder people and it has been estimated that the number will cross the 137 million mark by 2021.



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