Stigma and discrimination worsening poverty levels among elderly in Chikwawa

Authorities in Chikwawa have highlighted systematic stigma and discrimination as some of the contributors to worsening poverty levels among the elderly people in the district.

This was disclosed when Golden Age Foundation cheered over 200 elderly people in the area of Senior Chief Ngabu.

This was part of Mother’s Day celebrations where different gifts in form of clothes and blankets were distributed to the elderly.

Abida Mia (flanked by the Foundation’s board member) presenting gifts to the elderly

Chairperson of Golden Age Foundation, Mercy Chipyoza, told Nyasa Times after the distribution of the items that most majority of the elderly people in the district continue being stigmatised and neglected by the very same people who are supposed to provide them with support.

Chipyoza said the tendency worsens the vulnerability and poverty among the elderly.

“As you know the elderly can no longer work as they used to and as such they become dependent upon others. Most of these elderly people lack basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

“However it is sad to note that people who ought to look after these old ones are the ones who are also in the forefront neglecting and stigmatising them. This is really worrisome,” she said.

In his remarks, the District Commissioner for Chikwawa, Ali Phiri, said the district has over 5, 000 elderly people most of whom are poor, but looking after orphaned children.

Phiri therefore commended the gesture by the Golden age Foundation for reaching out to the elderly with support.

He emphasized that government alone cannot manage to do everything.

Member of Parliament for the area, Abida Sidik Mia, who is also Deputy Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, reiterated government’s commitment to uplifting the welfare of elderly in the country through various social cash transfer programs.

Mia gave cash gifts to the elderly for their upkeep in her personal capacity.

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2 years ago

A Society is Judged by the way they Treat Their Elderly, Malawi will never grow as a nation until it learns to respect and care for the elderly. Government continues in failing to impliment the elderly pension scheme. Villages and family’s accuse the elderly of witchcraft to steal their belongings and land. Sad ways in Malawi.

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