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29 April 2015 by Cuba News

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 29 (acn) In Cuba there are more than two million people over 60 years of age, 19 percent of the total population, and is the first Latin American country with the oldest population, announced an expert in this capital on Tuesday.

Doctor Alberto Fernandez, head of the National Group for the Care of the Elderly, of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) told ACN in an exclusive interview that the rapid population aging is largely due to the low birth rate, the increase of life expectancy and social development.

Cuba has indicators of the first world and the only population that is increasing hereinafter are senior citizens, said Fernandez, who participates in the 13th International Seminar on Longevity that winds up on Thursday at Havana's Convention Center, attended by 300 delegates from various nations.

Since 2010, people arriving to the sixth decade intersect which those who are 15, and hence hereinafter only the first group only increases and those who are 15 years of age decreases, emphasized Fernandez.

Guideline 144 of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution reads: "to give special attention to the study and implementation of strategies in all sectors of society to address the high levels of population aging.

Among the actions in this regard, the Ministry of Public Health is working to strengthen the Primary Health Care, for which it gives training for family doctors and nurses and graduates in geriatrics and gerontology, and courses for care at the end of life, in a way that health professionals are provided with the necessary tools to address this age bracket, he specified.

It also includes the strengthening of Grandparents Homes and Old People's Homes on the island, for which there is a rehabilitation program backed by a budget that in 2014 amounted to 66 million pesos allocated for this purpose by the Ministry of Finance and Prices.

Today, thanks to the development of education, 57 percent of the people that are between 60 and 74 years of age are medium level of university graduates, and in old age they also have the opportunity to continue studying at the University Departments for the Elderly, from which, in their fifteen years of existence, more than 15 thousand people have benefited, highlighted the expert.

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