Manepo calls for elderly responsive health policies

Malawi Network of Older Persons’ Organizations (Manepo) has called for provision of appropriate healthcare services for older people.

Manepo executive director, Andrew Kavala said older people do not access quality healthcare services due to lack of specialist doctors and responsive health policies.

“Malawi does not have geriatric doctors who are specialists in providing healthcare to older persons,” Kavala said.

“Most older persons when they go to public health facilities sometimes they are denied access. They are told they have very limited medication and they are keeping it for the youth which is discrimination.”

Kavala was speaking at an awareness campaign in the area of Traditional Authority Mkagula in Zomba district.

He said the awareness campaign was aimed at encouraging community members to always ensure that older people are accessing healthy nutrition, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and HIV/AIDS services.

One of the older persons, Friday Lidi of Nazombe Village, said most of the older people face discrimination when accessing SRHR and HIV/AIDS services.

Zomba district director of health and social services, Dr. Alexander Chijuwa emphasized the need for promoting consumption of a healthy diet and physical exercises among all age groups as it among others, helps to protect against NCDs, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

“For the elderly as the body ages it starts losing some of its ability to maintain itself that is why they need to have a well-balanced diet,” Dr. Chijuwa said.

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