The abuse of older persons remains taboo in Malawi. It often happens inconspicuously and in many cases goes unnoticed. However, evidence shows that it occurs frequently and in all types of settings in our communities. No community can claim to be immune from any of such forms of abuse/discrimination
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.
Malawi ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world and inequality is also very high. Therefore it is not surprising that poverty among older men and women is high. This is largely due to: a lack of appropriate, secure, predictable, and regular income; increase in perennial disasters like floods in some districts, breakdown of the family support systems and/or absence of a universal pension scheme
Older men and women are experiencing ageism – stereotyping, unfair treatment and discrimination based on a person’s age. This can impact a person’s confidence, job prospects, financial situation and quality of life. Older people are regarded as not being useful
Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency
Worldwide, older people make up 6% of the population but are often excluded from disaster risk reduction and emergency response – this means that the valuable contribution older people can make in these processes is often lost. It also means the specific needs they have are often left out, making them more vulnerable than the people of the other age groups