22 February 2011, Tuesday, 11:06

Bashkiria joined the project “Age-Friendly Cities Guide”

author: Galina Feoktistova

The project, initiated by the World Health Organization and called “Age-Friendly Cities Guide”, is developed in 32 municipalities all over the world and the town of Tuimazy, Bashkiria, is found in this list. Besides, the town has become the first town in Russia, supporting this initiative. In the nearest future Ufa is possibly going to join the project too.

The wide-scaled social project “Quality of Life (Health)” started working in Russia in 2011 and the regional program for modernization of health protection system in 2011-2012, presented by the deputy Prime-Minister of the Government RB Fidus Yamaltdinov to the Government RF, was launched in Bashkiria. Establishment of the inter-municipal specialized medical centers on the base of the several big urban and central regional hospitals is considered one of the key directions in the program.

In opinion of the WHO “Age-Friendly Cities Guide” project’s official curator in Russia Gulnara Minnigalleva it would be expedient to start working with the elder generation, taking the already available progressive experience into account. The project is called to assist to the rise of the elder people’s positive endowment in public life, not restricting the solution of the problems, concerned with urbanization and population ageing just by simple rise of the expenses for pensions and medical aid. As the curator reports, the investigations with the use of the method of the focus-groups in the town of Tuimazy started still in 2006. 102 people took part in the investigation phase of the project in a whole. The data of the report was used by the WHO together with the data, obtained in all 33 cities – the participants of the project, when compiling the manual “Age-Friendly Cities Guide”. Besides, the prospects and the difficulties of the project were presented to the World Congress of the European Association of gerontologists and geriatricians in Saint-Petersburg in 2007 and to several other international and Russian conferences. On the practical stage of the project since March 2007 the report was redone and translated into Russian with the adaptation for its use by the administration of Tuimazy and by other persons and organizations involved for further improvement of the habitation conditions in the town. All municipalities, joining this community, take the responsibility on improvement of the urban environment for making it more adequate for elderly people in accordance with the WHO recommendations, upon themselves.

“Within the frames of the project we work up the development plans for every town” – Gulnara Minnigaleeva explained – “These plans should include eight aspects of the urban life; buildings and streets; transport; housing; participation in social life; respect and involving in social life; public activity and well-paid jobs; communications and information; social and medical services. The program doesn’t presume large one-time investments and is rather called to make the everyday work on improvement of living conditions in the town more systematical, gradually bringing it in conformance with the standards and recommendations of the World Health Organization”.