Tuesday 15 December 2015, Dar es Salaam
Older people in Tanzania are to have a specific ministry devoted to their welfare for the first time in the country’s history.
The Ministry of Health, Social Development, Gender, Older People and Children was announced last week, indicating that ageing is being given a high priority under the incoming government.
"No development strategies can be achieved if older men and women, who constitute 5% of the country’s population, are not proactively recognised in planning and budgeting and are not enjoying effective public services," said Ms. Amleset Tewodros, Country Director for HelpAge International.
HelpAge International recognises the government’s positive step and congratulates it for its continued efforts and hopes the new ministry will bring positive results, including legislating the national policy on ageing so there is a binding legal framework to support implementation of policies and strategies related to ageing.
The inclusion of older people is a testament to the efforts of advocates for ageing in Tanzania. There are 901 million people aged 60 and over worldwide, predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2030, mostly living in developing countries. Measures to prepare for this growth need to be taken now and assigning a responsible ministry is a step in the right direction.
The announcement comes soon after world leaders agreed the new Sustainable Development Goals in September, promising to leave no one behind and to support all people of all ages.
A specific ministry will help ensure the government is better placed to focus on the changing needs and preferences of older people and allow them to follow-up on commitments made to promote their access to affordable and appropriate healthcare and social pensions.
Note to Editors:
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About HelpAge International
HelpAge International helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives. Our work is strengthened through our global network of like-minded organisations – the only one of its kind in the world.
Location: 134 Migombani Street, Regent Estate, Mikocheni
Mailing: P.O.BOX 9846, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255(0)22 2700169, +255(0)22 2774796
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