Daniel Kasondo, MANA
People, whose parents are advancing in their ages, need to take the responsibility of supporting and taking good care of them so that they live the rest of their lives in a normal way and enjoy their Golden Years.
This was said by Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati on Thursday at Group Village Head Phata in Traditional Authority Chadza in Lilongwe during the commemoration of the annual International Day of the Elderly which comes on October 1.
Kaliati observed that most men and women ignore their elderly parents and only concentrate on their family affairs — which she described as very unfortunate.
“We can’t afford to ignore the elderly — they are custodians of our culture. It’s very unfortunate that they’re forgotten in our communities.”
She said old people meet a lot of challenges such as poor accommodation, lack of food and others, which need to be looked into by their children, the community as well as the government.
“As government, we will be putting up an old persons Bill that shall be taken to Parliament just to ensure that the elderly are taken care of.
There’s a need for establishment of different programs for the elderly welfare and support,” she said.
Executive director for Malawi Network of Older People’s Organisation (MANEPO), Andrew Kavala said Malawi country has not created an enabling environment for the elderly.
He said if there are such programs targeting the elderly and the poor, then they were not sustainable hence the need for deliberate policies targeting them.
“We give them food items but we don’t give them sustainable means for their livelihood. There’s a need to include them in the national budget,” Kavala said.
“It is sad that most elderly people are living in poverty with no means for their daily life. This is very pathetic — these people worked to develop this country through different means, but end up living miserably.
Before the function, the minister visited two elderly persons in Kachule village, whom she donated some food items.
Meanwhile, newly-launched Wella Medical Aid Society (WEMAS), that is owned 100% by Wella Holdings Limited and started its operations on 1st April, 2020 has amongst some of its products a Pensioners Medical Scheme, which provides medical benefits for people who are above 55 years old and it also includes a generous free funeral cover benefit.
Such insured pensioners are assured of access to the best hospitals in Malawi to ensure a better life during their Golden Years, as said by WEMAS’s Chief Executive Officer MacDonald Wella when he launched the medical insurance company in Zomba.
This is what people can do in taking care of their elderly parents for them to live the rest of their lives healthy to continue enjoying more their children’s company, as alluded to by Minister Kaliati.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express