Older people’s health and care needs in the Middle East


There is evidence of a significant burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among older people in the MENA region. Furthermore, the number of older people with NCDs in the region is expected to reach 1.3 million in 2030, nearly 50% higher than in 2015. Other morbidities, such as dementia, are also projected to increase. Yet, there are limited studies on the prevalence of dementia in the region indicating current levels at 6% of older people. Some studies highlight lack of awareness and under-diagnosis of dementia in the region. Mental health at old age is also a growing concern across the region but again, there is limited data to establish its true scale and impact. For the MENA region, it is particularly important to recognise the role of gender and filial obligations on the level of disease, social and care burden among older people and their informal carers.

Hussein, S. (2019) Older people’s health and care needs in the Middle East: Policy and practice perspectives within changing population structures. United Nation’s Expert Group Meeting on Measuring Population Ageing.

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and its impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.