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Swedish Minister for elderly care, public health

Yoga as a way of keeping one healthy seems to have enamoured, Ms Maria Larsson Swedish Minister for Elderly Care and Public Health.

delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2010 21:08 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

Yoga as a way of keeping one healthy seems to have enamoured, Ms Maria Larsson Swedish Minister for elderly care and public health.

In an exclusive interview with HT today she said, "I visited the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga on Sunday, and I believe we have to learn much more of your ways of thinking in terms of prevention."

She is heading a 70 member delegation to India to commemorate the completion of one year of Indo-Sweden Memorandum of Understanding on Health. The Indo Swedish Health Week was inaugurated this morning.

Maria Larsson was given a demonstration on Yoga yesterday at the Institute, and there was a presentation on the Indian Health Systems by the officials of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

She also personally experienced some Yoga asans at the Institute by Yoga the teachers.

The large elderly population in Sweden, she said, keep active, travel around the world and maintain a good healthy life in which practice of Yoga could help prevent debility and disease.

In Sweden a person can stay in active working life till he is 67 years old, though he can continue even longer if his employers allows it, she said.

To make trains more accessible to the disabled she said they were going in for design changes so that the disabled could enter the train without any help. "We are making the stations at the same level as the trains. Later we want to do the same for buses and other transport."

In Sweden, she said large number of elderly had to be looked after under institutional care as the families did not stay together. Most elderly wanted to stay in their own ordinary homes as long as possible and did not want to move to an institution, she added.

"We have since this January started a new kind of subsidized building known as Service homes in which each of the elderly had his own separate apartment but could keep in touch with other elderly within the institution, just like students."

She said Sweden has a lot to learn from India particularly in the area of Information Technology and Health.

We are very interested in co operating and collaborating with India for its experience and knowledge in the area of health,she added.

"India is developing fast and there is a marvelous improvement in the health sector with the reform agenda. We can get into a 'win-win' situation by increasing our trade and collaboration in the field of pharmaceuticals by facing the challenge together and manufacturing new antibiotics which the world lacks today. We can do better by exchanging our experience and knowledge," she said.