Efforts by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to improve lives of older persons has attracted the top leadership of HelpAge International to hold its board meeting in the country – the first in Tanzania.
HelpAge International is a global network of organisations promoting the right of all older people to lead dignified, healthy and secure lives.
“This is a great honour and an indication that the government’s commitment to the welfare of older persons in the country is being recognised worldwide”, said Smart Daniel, HelpAge Country Director in Tanzania.
Daniel said the meeting delegates will also hold meetings with top government officials both on the mainland and Zanzibar in the course of the week.
HelpAge International has been operating in the country since 1993. Through cooperation with partners and network members, HelpAge has supported the development of social protection policies that recognise a universal social pension as a right of all older people.
HelpAge has been working with human rights organisations to challenge harmful beliefs and traditions that lead to the persecution, including killings of older people on allegations of witchcraft.
It has also been strongly advocating for improved access to free, age-friendly health services for older men and women as well as better management of non-communicable diseases which cause 60% of deaths among older people.
The close collaboration between HelpAge, its partners and government has resulted into the implementation of the Zanzibar Universal Pension and older people’s free access of medical services on the mainland.
Plans to introduce universal pension on the mainland are at final stages of discussion. There is also indication that the two governments will soon enact older people’s law, support the UN Convention on older people as well as ratify the AU Protocol on older people’s rights.