Building resilient health systems for an ageing population

Building resilient health systems for an ageing population

Day 3
09:00 – 10:30
Fortress Suite


In order to be effective and resilient, health systems must be governed with a participatory approach, leveraging the ideas of all stakeholders, including the most vulnerable. Building mental health legislation with those with mental health issues, addressing disease challenges with suffers and frontline medical staff, building international plans based on expert consultation (Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing) and optimising immunization strategies with local populations are all key examples of this.

This session will explore a wide range of issues and include input from the Medical Association of Malta Conference on social determinants of health. Through the discussion, panelists will try to agree on key principles in health systems that promote resilience.




(CHAIR) Ruth Farrugia

Ruth Farrugia Commonwealth People's Forum speakerRuth Farrugia is the Vice Chair of The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society in Malta. She is a senior lecturer in Civil Law at the University of Malta.

Marvin Formosa

Dr. Formosa received a Ph.D. in gerontology from the University of Bristol, and is currently Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the Gerontology Unit, University of Malta. His key interests include critical gerontology, social class dynamics, and educational gerontology, on which Dr. Formosa published 7 books and various chapters in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals. Recent co-authored works include Lifelong learning in later life: A handbook on older adult learning (2011), Learning across generations: Contemporary issues in older adult education (2014), Social class in later life: Power, identity and lifestyle (2015), and Population ageing in Malta: Multidisciplinary perspectives (2015). In 2015, Dr. Formosa published his sole authored work Ageing and later life in Malta: Issues, policies, and future trends. Dr. Formosa holds the post of Chairperson of the National Commission for Active Ageing (Malta) and Director of the International Institute on Ageing, United Nations - Malta (INIA). In recent months, he headed in-situ training missions in the People’s Republic of China and the Philippines. Forthcoming training missions are scheduled to take place in India and Turkey.

Jill Illife

Jill Iliffe is Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, a position she has held since 2008. In this role Jill is involved in:

  • International health policy development, particularly through Commonwealth Health Ministers’ meetings and as an Executive Member of the Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance;
  • Providing technical advice on legislation, regulation and standards for nursing and midwifery to governments, regional bodies, and national associations and as a Faculty Member of the African Regulatory Collaborative;
  • Providing education and training for national nursing and midwifery associations in Commonwealth countries, particularly in the areas of maternal and child health, patient safety, communicable and non-communicable disease, mental health, and leadership;
  • Managing specific projects to improve nursing, midwifery and health care. Current projects include working with the governments of Seychelles and Botswana to review their mental health legislation against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and providing education and training programs in maternal and child health to Lesotho, Malawi and Tanzania.

Jill has published widely and is publisher of the CNMF monthly e-News and the CNMF bi-annual professional journal. She is also the current Independent Chair of COTA Australia (Council on the Ageing).

Prior to taking up her appointment with the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, Jill was National Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) for nine years. The ANMF is the national professional and industrial body for nurses in Australia with eight state and territory branches, a federal office, and 180,000 nurse and midwife members. Jill is a registered nurse and midwife, with qualifications in family planning and women’s health. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science (with Distinction) from Sydney University and a Master of International Studies also from Sydney University.

Solaiman Juman

Dr Solaiman Juman FRCS is the President of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA). He is a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago and did Undergraduate studies in Medicine at the University of the West Indies.

He subsequently did his Postgraduate training in Otolaryngology in the UK. He is the President of the Trinidad & Tobago Society of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery (TTSOHNS) and Past-President of the Trinidad & Tobago Medical Association (T&TMA). He is presently the Vice-Chairperson of the Commonwealth Health Professionals Alliance (CHPA). He is also the Director of the Postgraduate DM Programme in Otolaryngology at the Trinidad Campus of the University of the West Indies.

K R Ravindran

K R Ravindran Commonwealth People's Forum speakerK.R. Ravindran is CEO and founder of Printcare PLC, a publicly listed printing, packaging, and digital media solutions company. He currently serves as the President of Rotary International, a volunteer service organisation with clubs in over 170 countries globally including Commonwealth member states.

Ravindran also serves on the board of several other companies in Sri Lanka and India and charitable trusts, including the MJF (Dilmah) Charitable Foundation. He is the founding president of the Rotary-sponsored Sri Lanka Anti Narcotics Association, the largest such agency in Sri Lanka. During the country's civil war, Ravindran was involved in the business community efforts to find peaceful solutions to the conflict and was a featured speaker at the United Nations-sponsored peace conference in New York for the Sri Lankan diaspora in 2002.

David Sanders

David Sanders, Emeritus Professor and founding Director of the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, is a paediatrician qualified in Public Health. He has over 30 years’ experience of university teaching and health policy development in Zimbabwe and South Africa, having advised governments, NGOs and several UN agencies on primary health care, child health and nutrition, and health human resources.

He has published three books on the political economy of health, and over 150 scientific articles in these areas. In 2004/5 he was Heath Clark lecturer at the LSHTM, is Visiting Professor at the Centre for International Health at the University of Bergen, Norway, and Honorary Professor in the School of Medicine, Flinders University of South Australia and in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Cape Town in recognition of his contribution to the development of the global policy of Primary Health Care, and in 2014 received the Public Health Innovation and Lifetime Achievement (PHILA) Award of the Public Health Association of South Africa.

He was on the Steering Committee of the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition for several years. He is a founder and on the Global Steering Council of the Peoples Health Movement and has been a contributor and editor of Global Health Watch.

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