GIS – 2 October 2013: Mauritius is the top African country and ranks 33rd worldwide on the Global AgeWatch Index 2013 - the first international survey that measures the quality of life and wellbeing of older people around the world in a range of different socio-economic contexts.
The Index has been developed by HelpAge International, a global network of over 100 organisations in 65 countries standing up for the rights of older people, in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population and Development. The Index covers 89% of the world's older people across 91 countries, taking into account income security, health, education and employment and enabling (age-friendly) environment.
The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mrs Sheila Bappoo, made the announcement yesterday at the national celebration held at the Octave Wiehe Auditorium, Réduit , on the occasion of the International Day of the Elderly, which is celebrated annually on 1 October. The event comprised drama, cultural items and prize giving ceremony with the participation of members of Senior Citizens Associations.
In her address to the senior citizens, Mrs Bappoo said that the theme “Older people – a new power for development” has been chosen for this year’s celebration to encourage older persons, to adopt an active and productive ageing philosophy and to fight rejection, exclusion and social isolation.
She stated that Mauritius, like many countries across the world, is facing the challenges of demographic ageing. According to Mrs Bappoo, the number of persons aged 60 and over in the Republic of Mauritius has been increasing at a rapid rate, from 9% of the total population in 2000 to 13% in 2013, standing at some 171 941 people, and it is projected that by 2050 the figure will more than double to reach 30%.
Highlighting the steps taken by Government to enhance the everyday lives of the elderly, the Minister said that while in 2012, Rs 7.25 billion have been disbursed in pensions and grants for the senior citizens, the sum in 2013 has reached Rs 7.8 billion. She added that Government is committed to pursue its actions and policies to ensure that the senior citizens of Mauritius are able to age with dignity and security. She listed the several initiatives of Government namely increase in the universal non-contributory pension, free transportation, free medical facilities and services, the setting up of the welfare and elderly protection unit and a hotline to enable the elderly to report any form of abuse.
Mrs Bappoo also announced that the third recreation centre for the senior citizens which will be inaugurated at Pointe aux Piments in December 2013 will be named after late Lady Sushil Ramgoolam. Next year, a fourth recreational centre will be set up in Riambel, she said.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:http://gis.gov.mu