Malawi is the worst place to grow old, according to the Global Age Watch Index 2015 which has ranked it 95th in Africa.
The Global Age Watch Index, which measures crucial aspects of well-being of the elderly, including income security, health status, capability and environment has ranked Afghanistan last.
Malawi ranks last in income security as over 95 percent of the elderly still work despite reaching ages that require them not to.
National coordinator for the Malawi Network of Older Persons (Manepo), Andrew Kavala, described the ranking as a true reflection of the situation on the ground.
“The ageing in Malawi are living pathetic lives as the index has rightly highlighted. There is need for joint efforts by different stakeholders to address the problems the elderly in the country continue to face,” Kavala said.
He disclosed that as a way of creating a conducive environment for the ageing, his organisation has included a number of ideas in its strategic plan.
“We are negotiating with donors like DfID [Department for International Development] and International Labour Organisation (ILO) to assist Malawi introduce the universal pension scheme being implemented in other countries, as a way of ensuring income security for the elderly.”
Chief elderly programmes officer in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Steve Vinkhumbo, said government is committed to improving the livelihood of the elderly. n