A GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS in Bago Region has invited senior citizens to receive medical care at its clinic free of charge every Saturday.
The young volunteer group led by Dr Nay Zaw Lwin of Mone Station in Kyaukkyi Township, Taung-Oo District, Bago Region, established a philanthropic team in September 2014, with the purpose of offering necessary care to elderly people through a free clinic.
Since its establishment, the clinic, named Nyeinmyitta, located within the compound of Mone Station, has helped over 5,000 elderly patients, most of them being poor. According to a volunteer, between 50 and 70 elderly patients receive healthcare each Saturday.
The programme provides young people with an opportunity to discover their philanthropic spirit through volunteering opportunities, said a member, adding that the team normally raises funds from well-wishers across the country.
A spokesperson of Warm Hands Organization, a local NGO working for the elderly, said rising living costs have made healthcare a challenge for older people with low-income.
He also pointed out that the country’s standards, assistances, laws and systematic management about care for the aged are still weak.
A survey conducted by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement in cooperation with Help Aged International in 2012 shows that nine per cent of the country’s total population is above 60 years of age, 0 per cent of whom are in need of care.
According to the initial data of the 2014 nationwide census, Myanmar has 2,897,563 people above 65 years of age, 415,349 of whom are from Yangon.— Artist Than Win (Kyaukgyi)