The 2014 HelpAge International has ranked Malawi 93rd out of 96 countries in the world, and among the 10 worst countries to grow old in Africa.
The charity’s Global AgeWatch Index measures the social and economic welfare of those over 60 in the 96 nations.
It measures income security, health and whether someone had access to public transport, social connections as well as their physical safety.
The report thus highlights which countries are doing best for their older populations and how this links with policies towards pensions, health, education, employment and the social environment in which older people live.
Four domains are looked at; income security, health, capability and enabling environment for the older generation.
In the income security domain, 26 countries have a value of less than 50 per cent of the “benchmark” values set by Norway and France, the best-performing countries, at 89.1 and 88.0 respectively.
“Most notable among countries ranked low on income security are Malawi, Pakistan and Tanzania, which have values of less than 7 per cent of the best-performing countries,” indicates the report.
On health status, Malawi is among the lowest-ranked countries like Afghanistan and Mozambique, with values of less than 23 per cent. Japan stands out as the top-ranked country with respect to the health status of its older people at 83.9 percent.
Malawi is again ranked among the lowest on the enabling environment domain for the elderly.
“Mozambique, Afghanistan and Malawi, ranked lowest, have values of less than 60 per cent of the best-performing countries,” states the report.
The report also noted that policies supporting older people such as pensions, educational and employment opportunities, free healthcare and treatment of chronic conditions, have been slow to evolve compared with the fast rise in the numbers of older people.