Mumbai: Noted educationist Ashok Vikhe Patil was elected Honorary President of the International Association of Rural Health and Medicine (IARM) at its meeting in Tokyo.
IARM is an association of rural health experts from different scientific disciplines. It aims at the sustainable health development of people living in rural and remote areas. Its first IARM conference was held in France in 1961.
The 20th IARM conference in Tokyo, during which Vikhe Patil was elected, was organised along with the 67th meeting of the Japanese Association of Rural Health and Medicine.
The meeting theme was “Challenges to community-based rural medicine in ageing societies with declining productive populations”, Vikhe Patil, founder and former vice chancellor of Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, told PTI from Tokyo.
Vikhe Patil, chairman of the Pune-based Dr Vikhe Patil Foundation, said IARM support the World Health Organisation’s goal of “Health for all in the 21st century” and helps protect the health of agricultural workers.
“Currently, overpopulation is a problem all over the world. While the population is decreasing in developed countries, the ageing of people progresses. The birth rate is low in households having the high income,” he said.
“In developed countries, ageing and population decline are social problems. The proportion of elderly people is high in rural areas in most countries and many elderly and children are responsible for agricultural labour in developing countries,” he said.
Agricultural workers earning low income in rural areas is a worldwide problem and the meeting proposed a guarantee system for these workers, he said.