Case Story


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Initiative Name:
Sharing Knowledge and Experiences regarding the Health of (and provision of health services to) Older Persons between Belize and Jamaica
Initiative Status:
Completed and consolidating results
Adaptation, replication or scaling up of a previous initiative?
Modality of the initiative:
Family/Community Health and Health Promotion
elderly health, salud de personas de la tercera edad, la tercera edad, salud de personas mayores

Geographic Identifiers

Countries Leading or Providing Technical Cooperation:
Countries Demanding Technical Cooperation:
Participating National Institutions, Organizations and/or Subregional Entities:
Belize: The National Council on Ageing; the Ministy of Health; Mercy Care Center; Jamaica: The National Council for Senior Citizens; Ministry of Health and Environment; the National Health Fund
Participating International and Multilateral Organizations:
Pan American Health Organization
Initiative Start Date:
Initiative End Date:

Initiative Cost/Budget and Sources of Funding

Initiative Total Cost/Budget: (in US$)
Percentage Contributed by National Governments:
33% ($8,200)
Percentage Contributed by 3rd party sources:
67% ($16,700)

Initiative Description

Most countries in the Americas are undergoing a demographic transition. As a result, most of these countries are experiencing an ageing of their populations. This, together with changing lifestyles, has resulted in a change in the prevailing disease patterns. As the proportion of older persons increases there is an increase in the proportion of the population experiencing chronic diseases and disability. Consequently it is important for countries to begin to look critically at how their health and other social systems will begin to address the needs of older persons through development of appropriate policies, promotion of healthier lifestyles and reorienting their health services.

Jamaica has a well advanced program to address the needs of ageing populations while this area remains undeveloped in Belize. In 1976, the National Council for Senior Citizens was established with the primary objective of advising the Ministry on issues impacting on the welfare of the Jamaican Senior Citizen, and continues to meet the challenges of a growing, healthier, and more active senior citizens population through the implementation of the National Policy for Senior Citizens (approved in 1997), in the priority areas of 1) education, 2) health, 3) income security, and 4) national infrastructure.

Consequently the two countries decided to engage in a technical cooperation among countries project in order to learn from each other’s experiences in addressing the needs of their steadily ageing populations and how to strengthen their respective health programs for older persons. The exchange of information and knowledge regarding care of older persons has led to the development of several key programmes that have improved senior care in Belize, including the Senior Steps Dancing for Health program and weekly health check ups. The project also helped to strengthen relations with their respective Ministries of Health and other partners working to incorporate care of older persons into their primary health care programs.

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Additional Material:

Contact Information:

Name of Contact Person:
Ms. Lindy Jeffery
Executive Director of National Council on Ageing

Additional contact:
Ms. Lorraine Thompson - Country Program Advisor for the Caribbean
Pan American Health Organization