Officials look to formulate national policy on ageing
THE Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement hosted an event this week in Yangon aimed at drafting a national policy for a growing contingent of those over 60 years old.
One in every 11 Myanmar citizens is elderly, the ministry’s deputy director general Daw San San Aye said. Improvements need to be made in all sectors – including healthcare, and the social and environmental arenas – as that ratio grows, she said. The ministry consulted with elderly people, relevant departments and oldage homes, she added.
Like other countries in Southeast Asia, the number of elderly people in Myanmar is increasing rapidly, having nearly quadrupled over the past 60 years due to smaller families and improved life expectancy, according to a 2014 report from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
That growth is expected to accelerate over the next four decades: By 2030, the percentage of elderly people – defined as those over the age of 60 – is expected to jump from 9 percent to 15pc, according to UN data, and by 2050, one-quarter of the country’s citizens may be elderly.
More than 4.7 million of Myanmar’s 52 million people are over the age of 60, according to population data from 2015-16.
Attendees of the November 21 workshop discussed the challenges of ageing.
“Ageing policy is for everyone,” said HelpAge International’s Myanmar country director Godfred Paul. “Everyone is ageing. People who were born today have started ageing. This country needs to have an ageing policy.”