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Government optimistic on impact of older people policy

Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare has said the National Policy for Older Persons, which it has launched, will help to avert some of the social and economic challenges that the elderly are facing in the country.

Minister responsible Jean Kalilani launched the policy on Saturday in Dowa.

Kalilani said this will act as a guideline to stakeholders to implement productive programmes for the elderly.

“This is the tool that people need to know on how to take care of older people. When people are growing old, it becomes a problem, for instance, healthwise. We may be the only country with that kind of policy for now,” she said

According to statistics, currently Malawi has 1.5 million people aged 60 years and above and the number is expected to increase to three million in the next 20 years.

And in 2015, a Global report placed Malawi among the 10 worst countries in which to grow old. But Kalilani said it is high time service providers in the country created a conducive environment to older people.

Malawi Network for Elderly Persons Organisations (Manepo), National Coordinator, Andrew Kavala, has bemoaned some of the policies in financial institutions that are sidelining old people to access loans despite having necessary requirements.

“Most of the commercial banks in this country have an age limit to access personal loans. I have been in some of the banks and I have actually seen that their loan policies are not favourable for people of all ages even if the older people have the required security requirements,” he lamented.

This year’s theme was commemorated under the theme ‘Let’s Take a Stand against Ageism’.

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