SCAZ launches Global AgeWatch INDEX

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—–The United Nations International day of old age and Senior Citizens Association of Zambia (SCAZ) has today launched the Global AgeWatch index 2014.

In a statement availed to ZANIS in Lusaka by SCAZ Executive Director, Rosemary Sishimba, the Global Index 2014 is ranking 96 countries according to the social and economic well-being of the aged.

Ms Sishimba said it also measures the well-being in four key areas which are income, security, health, personnel capability and an enabling environment.

She disclosed that in the enabling environment domain Zambia ranks low at 84 due to small percentage of older persons feeling safe at 34 per cent while in the health domain Zambia ranks lowest at 91 with values below the regional average on all indicators.

And in all income security domain Zambia ranks 91 with low pension coverage of 7.7 per cent.

Ms Sishimba revealed that Zambia has the highest old age poverty rate at 22.9 per cent and lowest rate of relative welfare at 78 per cent among older persons.

She said the latest results from the Global AgeWatch Index 2014 provides a great opportunity for the Zambian government to think about implementing universal social pensions and access to health services for people aged 60 plus while facilitating age-friendly environments too.

Ms Sishimba said Globally, the index reveals that one in four people in low and middle-income countries is living without a pension and that policies supporting people in later life exist but need to be implemented faster and more systematically.

SCAZ, with HelpAge International, is using the index to influence the post-2015 successor to the MDGs to ensure that all data collected to monitor the future development framework is disaggregated, analysed and disseminated for all ages as made clear by UN Secretary General in his call for a “data revolution”.