LAWS to codify the rights of the aged population in Myanmar being developed by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement are estimated to be finalised at the beginning of next year.
There is currently no policy regarding the senior citizens in the country. The ministry, relevant departments and partner organisations are planning to submit the elderly-related law toprovide special rights and protections for elderly individuals.
The new policy will cover special programmes to offer healthcare, accommodations and security support to the older persons.
The policy will help create employment opportunities for healthy older persons and offer special care for the elderly who are unhealthy.
The elderly population has increased in Myanmar at a higher rate than other Southeast Asian nations.
A survey conducted by the ministry 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, 10 per cent of whom are in need of care.
According to initial data from the 2014 nationwide census, Myanmar has 2,897,563 people above 65 years of age,
415,349 of whom are from Yangon.
Myanmar’s biggest city has seen an increasing number of elderly on the street, according to Save the Aged, a philanthropic organization caring for the elderly.
Dr Ye Yint Tun, one of the volunteers from the STA, said the most common diseases found in the senior citizens who are under its care are heart-related diseases. Some others are suffering from tuberculosis (TB), paralysis and kidney diseases.
Undernourishment and TB infection as well as mental illness are mostly found in the abandoned street elderly, said U Tun Lin, Medical PR Officer, Medical PR Department at Yangon General Hospital.—Khine Khant