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Calabrian village 'bans dying'

Mayor urges aging locals to look after their health

(ANSA) - Catanzaro, August 6 - A village in Calabria has introduced a "ban on dying" as it tries to encourage its aging population to seek medical treatment and stay in good health.
    The initiative in Sellia, a village with about 500 inhabitants, started after Mayor Davide Zicchinella managed to open a local health centre in June despite cuts to health service funding.
    Zicchinella, a qualified doctor, then signed an administrative act dated August 5 which explicitly mentions that dying is banned.
    It also introduces incentives for people who show they are looking after their health and sanctions for those who take little care.
    "The response of our citizens has been more than encouraging," Zicchinella said. "One hundred people have come in to the centre for check-ups in one month," he said.
    "I can't stress enough the importance of maintaining one's health in a community in demographic decline with a largely aged population, in which every human life has an even greater value," he said.
    More than 60% of Sellia's inhabitants are over 65 and in the past 15 years it has lost more than a third of its population.
    Industrial development association Svimez warned in a report last week that the economic and demographic crises affecting southern Italy could turn into permanent underdevelopment.
   

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