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Press Release

April 1, 2023

"Koroban Calisthenics", Exercise Program for Elderly People in Athurugiriya

JICA together with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment has been implementing a technical cooperation project for Capacity Enhancement of Elderly Service Management in the Community.

On 1st of April, exercise program was organized by Kaduwela Medical Officer of Health (MOH) office, in cooperation with Elderly Committee, Highschool and other relevant organization under the Project for Capacity Enhancement of Elderly Service Management in the Community.

The purpose of this exercise program is to improve healthy life expectancy in Sri Lankan elderly population, to use already available recourse in the community to cut down the cost, and to improve the relationship between younger and older generation. The unique part of this program is that "Koroban Calisthenics" is introduced in the exercise. The Japanese meaning of "Koroban" is "not to fall down". Koroban Calisthenics is to maintain and improve strength, balance and mobility so that the elderly people prevent falls and avoid the situation of relying on care.

The introduction of Koroban Calisthenics was the result of the learning from 1st Counterpart Training in Japan for governmental officials in the health and the social sector in October 2022. This training gave participants the ideas and hints on how the community-based integrated care system is planned and implemented in Japan. Dr. SILVA Niroshan, Kaduwela MOH, one of the participants thought that "Koroban" exercise was suitable for the region in his charge and a collaborative program was planned, incorporating ideas learnt in Japan and utilizing local resources.

Dr. Silva said that the exercise was not in our culture before. Usually, elderly people stay home and look after children. "The exercise we are introducing is designed especially for elderly people. Since the exercise program started, elderly people become happier. We would like to continue and disseminate to other regions."

Mr. G. Weerasena, President, Suhada Senior Citizens Society said that this a very good program conducted by the MOH of the area. He joined these programs from the beginning and hope to join all programs in future as well. He has asked many people who are known to him in this area to join these sessions. He also started exercises with his wife at home.

Mr. Jayantha Colambage, President of Lions Club said that the Lions Club should work for society, and it is important to support elderly people. They are willing to continue their support.

A student who participated the volunteer work said that she was invited to volunteer by her teacher without knowing the details of the program, but she was honored to be involved as she found it to be a very important support for elderly people.

Mr. Yamada Tetsuya, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka office participated the exercise program and spoke of how important it is to support the elderly people to stay healthy in Sri Lanka where aging population is increasing. He said that Japan is already a super aging society and has knowledge on supporting quality life of elderly people in the community. That is why JICA is implementing the project. He is glad to know that Dr. Silva disseminates what he learned in Japan and hope to continue the practices.

This project was started in February 2022 to develop the model for community-based health and social integrated care system for elderly persons in Sri Lanka. For more information, please see the below link:




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