The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated RIVM as WHO Collaborating Centre on Life Course and Health. The Collaborating Centre will support the WHO by contributing to knowledge and research on healthy ageing over the life course. People are growing older all over the world. The United Nations declared 2021 – 2030 the ‘ Decade of Healthy Ageing’. According to the WHO, this initiative is urgently needed to ensure that older people can fulfil their potential in good health, dignity and equality and in a healthy environment. 

Focus of the WHO Collaborating Centre

The new Collaborating Centre is coordinated by RIVM’s Centre for Nutrition, Prevention and Health Services. The Collaborating Centre will contribute to developing standards for healthy ageing metrics over the life course. It will contribute to WHO reports for the Decade of Healthy Ageing based on data from the Dutch ‘Doetinchem Cohort Study’ and longitudinal cohort studies in other regions of the world. It will also contribute to projections on the health of older people, using modelling techniques. 

Monique Verschuren, head of RIVM’s department Life course and health, professor of Healthy  Ageing and head of RIVM’s WHO Collaborating Centre: “The number of older people will increase significantly in the coming decades. We know that some people remain healthy and active well into old age, while others suffer from disabilities that limit their quality of life. We want to know more about factors that explain these differences in order to improve the health of future generations of older people. Investing in health to remain vital and enjoy life in old age is both an individual and societal challenge. And it needs to be recognized that older people are valuable to society. Many older people for example provide informal care and do volunteer work.”

The WHO CC will be launched officially with a kick off webinar in early 2023.

Ten WHO Collaborating Centres

RIVM hosts ten WHO Collaborating Centres, including the new WHO Collaborating Centre on Life Course and Health. Our Collaborating Centres provide support to the WHO, ranging from practical assistance to scientific research on topics such as antimicrobial resistance, tobacco product regulation, chemical food safety, nutrition, microbial food and water safety, infectious disease preparedness, laboratory preparedness and biorisk.

More information about our new Collaborating Centre can be found on the website  WHO Collaborating Centre on Life Course and Health.