Fri, Feb 24, 2017 | updated 09:08 AM IST

Experts appeal UN to rethink on health target

Updated: Aug 31, 2016 17:33 IST

Washington D.C.[USA], Aug. 31 (ANI): As per a recent research the concept of premature mortality needs to be either abandoned or redefined to stop discrimination against older people.

One of the main health targets included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is to reduce by a third premature death from non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and dementia.

The goals agreed for 2016-2030 define premature mortality as deaths occurring among people aged 69 years old or younger.

However, researchers argue that this target sends out a clear and unambiguous statement to UN member stating that health provision for younger groups must be prioritised at the expense of people aged 70 or over.

They call on the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Division of Non-Communicable Disease, the lead global agency on this issue, to rethink the mortality target, saying that its use of premature mortality discourages research and data collection for older people, one example of this being the exclusion of older people from HIV targets.

Also, that it exacerbates and justifies existing levels of age discrimination in health care, and distracts attention from major challenges that especially affect older people, such as palliative care.

Professor Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, lead author of the study said: "The implications for all countries, the UK included, is that resources allocated to conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and dementia should be diverted from older people in order to comply with this global target."

Adding, "The World Health Organisation cannot continue to take this unethical and discriminatory approach. The SDGs are the key reference point for global health over the next 15 years and must jettison this ageist approach."

Setting out their concerns and recommendations researchers said the premature mortality target "sends a strong signal in favour of discriminating against older people".

They added: "Since the 1990s key aspects of health policy have been framed by explicitly ageist principles...The prominent role given to premature mortality thresholds shows that ageism is becoming increasingly blatant. It is inconceivable that global targets would similarly discriminate against other groups, such as women or people with disabilities."

Proposing a less discriminatory approach, they conclude: "Engaging with ageism in health policy does not mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We still need mortality indicators...so long as they are interpreted with care. Additionally, policy-makers should explicitly assess how the choice of measure impacts on the priority given to each age group.

"Highly cost-effective health interventions exist for people of all ages. Improved surveillance increases the scope to capture the disease burden in older people...In 2015 WHO published a report on ageing and health, indicating that WHO itself is ready to jettison ageist concepts and champion a more ethical approach. It is important that such progress is not undermined by poorly considered global targets," he said.

The study was published in the BMJ journal. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [US], Feb. 24 (ANI): US researchers have suggested that specially trained dogs can be used to find wide-ranging species that are often threatened, sepecially cheetah in a region of Western Zambia.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 23(ANI): NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

Full Story >>

Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb.22 (ANI): Germany's Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation has handed over equipment worth € 20, 000 to Amity University for accelerating research initiatives.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb 21 (ANI): The world's first battery to use only hydronium ions as the charge carrier has been been developed by scientists.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 21 (ANI): According to a new study, Carnegie's Stephen Elardo and Anat Shahar shows that interactions between iron and nickel under the extreme pressures and temperatures similar to a planetary interior can help scientists understand the period in our Solar System's youth when planets were forming and their cores were created.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): To boost breeding of endangered poultry breeds, Briton researchers have come up with gene-editing techniques for the rare breeds to use them as surrogates that cannot produce their own chicks.

Full Story >>

Meet 'Bernardbowen'- the new minor planet

Updated: Feb 18, 2017 07:00 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): In a major development, a team of scientists have officially named a minor planet as 'Bernardbowen' that sits in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 17 (ANI): NASA has called on the world to help it in the search for the new ninth planet, as anyone from a kindergartener to a 95-year-old, can participate in their new project to find the not-yet-discovered celestial body.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 9 (ANI): To cut down the number of traffic fatalities, drive less!

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 8 (ANI): According to an international team of astronomers led by researchers from University Of Cambridge, the Magellanic Clouds, the two largest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, appear to be connected by a bridge stretching across 43,000 light years.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers have discovered prehistoric wolf-sized otter fossils with a large head and a powerful jaw, weighing around 100 pounds, in China's Yunnan province.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 25 (ANI): A study finds that early identification of hearing loss in newborn due to a disease or physical abnormality by birth may help them in better language outcomes as they grow.

Full Story >>

Chennai [India], Jan.14 (ANI-Businesswire India): While "Jallikattu" seems to be the trending topic of discussion in Tamil Nadu at the moment, a silent revolution envisioned by youth icon and late Former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has quietly gained momentum. Ignite-India is a nation-wide innovation platform for student innovators and young entrepreneurs in high schools and colleges. Founded by International swimmer Agnishwar Jayaprakash in 2014, the organization has designed & hosted 96 Regional Innovation Conferences and 3 National Innovation Conferences across 36 cities in India where students competed to showcased their innovative creations. These innovations were judged based on the practicality, creativity & sustainability by technical experts from diverse fields.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Jan. 13 (ANI): New computer simulations have shown that tiny droplets of sulphuric acid resulted in long-lasting cooling, which was a likely contributor to the death of land-living dinosaurs.

Full Story >>

New human organ in digestive system discovered

Updated: Jan 05, 2017 06:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 5 (ANI): Scientists have discovered what they are calling a new human organ that exists in the digestive system.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], January 4 (ANI): Songbirds divorce, pack up and leave and miss their best chances for successful reproduction, courtesy suburban development.

Full Story >>

How do conch shells have such huge variety?

Updated: Jan 04, 2017 05:52 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], January 4 (ANI): Conch shells and its varied shapes and size have always been something that has captivated the eyes of collectors.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Dec. 31 (ANI): A new study finds that despite English being considered the common language of global science, over 30 percent of new scientific reports are published other languages due to which many major findings have been overlooked.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Dec. 29 (ANI): Wake up to a chilly morning and sense a bit of rain!

Full Story >>