By Asma’u Ahmad
A United Nations expert, Ms. Rosa Kornfeld, has urged Namibia Government to invest in healthcare as the projected growth rate for the older population in sub-Saharan Africa was faster than any other region.
Ms. Kornfeld who stated this at a news conference in Windhoek, Namibia capital, said that failure to invest in the sector would result in immense pressure on the country’s healthcare system.
The expert said that the growing number of older people would be living with chronic diseases and disability.
“Low population density and accelerated levels of urbanisation have the potential to erode the traditional family care system. Further investment by the government in healthcare infrastructure is required to provide alternatives to the older persons in rural areas,” she said.
Mr. Kornfeld said that care could no longer be considered simply a family matter. She called on the government to step up its efforts to revise the Aged Persons Act in order to fully provide for the rights, protection, care and welfare of older people.
The expert, who has been in Namibia for the past three weeks, has a chance to meet with older people and representatives of local authorities as well as civil society representatives.
She was presenting preliminary findings on a report which would come out in September.
Kornfeld commended the government for its political determination and vision to improve the lives of all Namibians by 2030, and how to protect their human rights and urged the government to deliver on its promises.