Pol­icy for el­derly cit­i­zens in the works

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

A POL­ICY ad­dress­ing the rights, health, se­cu­rity and eco­nomic well­be­ing of Myan­mar’s el­derly will be is­sued next year, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare.

Speak­ing on Oc­to­ber 1 at a cer­e­mony in Nay Pyi Taw com­mem­o­rat­ing the In­ter­na­tional Day for Older Per­sons, U Aung Kyaw Moe, di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare, said his staff are cur­rently draft­ing the pol­icy in con­sul­ta­tion with the in­put of lo­cal as­so­ci­a­tions, NGOs and el­derly cit­i­zens.

“Now is the first stage,” he said. “[To­day], there will be a meet­ing where we will dis­cuss our ini­tial work and de­velop the next steps.”

Sep­a­rately, the El­ders Draft Law is cur­rently un­der dis­cus­sion in the hlut­taw. Among other things, if passed, it will crim­i­nalise the ex­ploita­tion of the el­derly.

Speak­ing on be­half of the Min­is­ter for So­cial Wel­fare, Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment, U Thein Swe, Min­is­ter for Labour, Im­mi­gra­tion and Pop­u­la­tion, said that the draft law was in­tended to im­prove the health, well-be­ing and care pro­vided to the el­derly, in ac­cor­dance with Myan­mar tra­di­tions.

“The state will co­op­er­ate with lo­cal as­so­ci­a­tions or NGOs which work with older peo­ple in or­der to im­prove their qual­ity of life and pre­vent dis­crim­i­na­tion and mis­treat­ment,” Union Min­is­ter U Thein Swe said.

Cur­rently, the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare man­ages around 80 aged care fa­cil­i­ties, which care for more than 2700 el­derly peo­ple. They also pro­vide rice, clothes and wel­fare pay­ments to aged peo­ple ac­cord­ing to the last fed­eral bud­get.

Around 4.75 mil­lion peo­ple, or just over 9 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, are more than 60 years old. Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the WHO, life ex­pectancy in Myan­mar is only 65 years.

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