The event, part of the third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 3) and related meetings in HCM City, drew over 100 delegates from APEC economies, representatives from UN agencies, international and social organisations, researchers and health care service providers.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Pham Le Tuan said population aging generates major opportunities and challenges, and impacts all economic and social aspects.
The APEC economies account for 40.5 percent of the global population and nearly 50 percent of the total elderly in the world. Most APEC members are facing challenges posed by rapid population aging.
Vietnam’s population aging started in 2011, with the rate of people aged 60 and above making up 10 percent. It is now among the countries with the fastest population aging speed. Vietnam has more than 10 million old people and figure is estimated to reach 28 million by 2050.
Participants also discussed issues such as population aging in the APEC region, the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) amid population aging, prevention and control of NCDs among the elderly.
Tuan also highlighted the fast increase of NCDs and population aging pose huge challenges for the global health care system.
Heart diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic diseases are among the leading causes of death among old people, Tuan said, adding that APEC economies need to seek ways to prevent and control NCDs in the context of population aging.
The dialogue offered an opportunity for health managers, scientists, organisations and individuals to share experience in addressing NCDs amid population aging, towards a healthy and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.