Highlights from IFA’s 16ᵗʰ Global Conference

Presidential Symposium on Older Women

Prioritizing Bone Health to Foster Healthy Ageing for Older Women

Population ageing is a global phenomenon which significantly impacts the health and well-being of older persons. As of 2015, older adults account for 12% of the global population, and by 2050, this proportion is expected to double ⁽¹⁾. Older women make up a significant portion of the ageing population and live longer than men ⁽²⁾ , yet they are not prioritized in policies, health systems and society as a whole.

The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) recently held its 16ᵗʰ Global Conference on Ageing entitled Challenge, Transformation, Change which aimed to influence and shape policy that improves the quality of life of current and future generations of older people. The IFA’s 16ᵗʰ Global Conference boldly focused on themes not often prioritized and actioned in policy dialogue, including Older Women as a key theme. 

The Presidential Symposium on Older Women at the IFA’s 16ᵗʰ Global Conference, held in collaboration with Amgen as a prime member of IFA, aimed to bring together experts across various disciplines to translate public health evidence and good practices into actions to improve policies and initiatives supporting older women’s health in the Asia-Pacific. The session particularly focused on protection of bone health to prevent, manage and treat conditions such as fragility fractures and osteoporosis, which lead to frailty, and diminished function and overall well-being.

The White Paper based on the session outlines key themes and policy recommendations to advance bone health to support healthy ageing for older women in the Asia-Pacific region.

1. World Health Organization. UN Decade of Healthy Ageing [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 22]. Available from: https://www.who.int/initiatives/decade-of-healthy-ageing
2. World Health Organization. Global report on ageism. Geneva; 2021.

Expert Speakers

Professor Reshma Merchant is an Associate Professor and Head of Geriatric Medicine at the National University Health System in Singapore. She is also a committee member of the WHO Global Network on Long-term Care. Her presentation called for a greater focus on addressing gendered ageism to support bone health and healthy ageing more broadly among older women.

Dr. Unnop Jaisamrarn, is Chief of the Family Planning and Reproductive Health Unit in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, Associate Dean for International Affairs of Faculty of Medicine and Secretary General of The Royal Thai College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists. He is the Vice-President of the Thai Menopause Society and the President of the Thai Osteoporosis Foundation. Dr. Jaisamrarn is also the Secretary of Forum for WHO Multicenter Research in Reproductive Health and the Secretary General of WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in Human Reproduction.

His presentation focused on the burden of osteoporosis and hip fractures in Asian women and initiatives to support treatment and prevention.


Ms. Pattaraporn Vimonwatvetee is a General Manager of Amgen in Thailand. She is a successful sales and marketing executive with 20 years managerial experience in both specialties and general therapeutics and in both ethical and drugstore channels. She discussed the importance of a multidisciplinary and multistakeholder approach to improving osteoporosis diagnosis, treatment, and prevention among older adults in the Asia-Pacific region.

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