AS Tanzania today joins the rest of the world to mark International Day of Older Persons, the government has directed all district authorities to make use of the day to provide the senior citizens with identification cards.
The Deputy Minister of State in President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Selemani Jafo, speaking here over the weekend ahead of the annual event, said the ID cards would help the group to get access to free healthcare in public hospitals.
“The government is also contemplating to introduce universal pension for older persons,” said the Deputy Minister.
This year’s International Day of Older Persons which is observed under the theme ‘Let’s Appreciate Older Persons’ Contribution, and Experience in National Development towards Industrialization’ is held at national level in Dodoma.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Sihaba Nkinga, noted in a statement here yesterday that the theme was drawn to raise public awareness of elders’ experience to attain the national goal of industrialisation.
She pointed out that this year’s International Day of Older Persons celebrations to be graced by retired President Ali Hassan Mwinyi at famous Nyerere Square in Dodoma town centre will go hand in hand with provision of free medication to older persons.
The International Day of Older Persons was observed for the first time on October 1, 1991 after the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish the annual event on December 14, 1990.
The holiday celebrated by raising awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse. It’s also a day to appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.