MANEPO

Malawi Network of Older Persons' Organisations

"Promoting the rights of older persons"

Health and care

Thematic Area 2: Health and Care

According to a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the overwhelming burden of diseases in older men and women in developing countries is now from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer and long-term issues related to reproductive health in women. The health and care needs of people change as they age and should be addressed across the life course.

Additionally, provision of appropriate health and care to children has greater influence on their healthy status as they age. For example, poor nutrition during childhood and adolescence can lead to health complications in older age. Furthermore, patterns of health and disease are also changing in Southern Africa.. More people living with HIV in Malawi are also living into older age due to the availability of ARTs. According to the 2017 statistics from UNAIDS, 60% of all people living with HIV in East and Southern Africa (totaling up to 11.7 million people) were accessing ARTs. However, health systems in the region have not responded to all these changes. In general, older men and women in Southern Africa do not have access to affordable, efficient and age-friendly health services that are equipped to respond to ageing and that address health needs across the life course. In Malawi, older men and women also often have greater difficulty accessing age friendly healthy services due to their physical condition, poverty and limited health awareness.