On Dec. 6, Professor K.A.P. Siddhisena, Emeritus Professor of Demography at the University of Colombo, came and spoke to Health Systems students on the topic of population aging in Sri Lanka. Population aging refers to the process of an increase in the proportion of elderly persons in a total population.

Sri Lanka, whose aging demarcation age is considered to be 60, is experiencing one of the fastest aging populations in the developing world due to its speedy demographic transition. Sri Lanka will also be the most aged country in South Asia – the proportion of elderly persons over 60 is almost double that of other countries in the same region.

Elderly people tend to be in poorer health and in need of more medical services than younger populations. An increase in the percentage of elderly people results in a change in the volume of services needed, and health systems will need to adapt to manage an increase in chronic conditions from non-communicable diseases.

To read more about Professor Siddhisena’s research on population aging in Sri Lanka and view his slides from the presentation, click here.

Professor K.A. Padmasiri Siddhisena is one of the pioneers in the field of Demography in Sri Lanka. He was the Founder Head of the Department of Demography of the University of Colombo. In addition, he served as the Director of the Demographic Training and Research Unit (DTRU), the Director of Colombo University Community Extension Centre (CUCEC), Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He holds B.A. (Hons.) and B.Phil (Hons.) in Economics from University of Colombo, M.A. in Demography from Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, and M.Sc and Ph.D. in Population Planning from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He served as the Founder Secretary and the President of the Population Association of Sri Lanka (PASL), and the editor of Sri Lanka Journal of Population Studies (SLJPS). His teaching and research spread over a broad range of topics, including fertility and mortality analysis, migration and urbanization, ageing and elderly care and population and development issues.