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Elderlies Need Special Care - Dr Jumbe, Fabio

Stakeholders posing in front of the facility Stakeholders posing in front of the facility - pic by Luka Beston

Training more geriatric specialists and establishing special elderly facilities in rural hospitals is said to be a way to go in preventing underlying conditions that are killing a lot of older persons in the country.

Speaking to Zodiak Online on Tuesday, Thyolo District Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Dr. Arnold Jumbe, observed that the personnel and facilities can help to ensure that the elderlies whose bodies are frail get assisted in good time and properly than in district facilities where there is pressure.

Dr. Jumbe said the elderlies are prone to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as BP and injuries since their bodies are frail; hence, the need for specialised attention.

"It is important because they will focus on the actual diseases and conditions of the elderles and they will manage them better than having a general purpose person who can see all the things. So it's important that we train some to be specialised for elderly population," he said.

This came out when an Italian organisation Sotto Sopra Malawi and partners handed over a K36 million geriatric ward at Mangunda health centre in the district

According to its country donor representative, David Fabio Pantaleoni, it will help to accord the elderly the right to quality health care.

"We are coming from the elders and we will become elders ourselves. So if we don't think of our past, we don't think of our future. Elder people are the history,  the roots and passage to where we would like to reach. So, if we can treat those people or give them services we are looking after ourselves," Pentalioni said.

The organisation also funded and constructed the OPD, maternity wing and the under-five clinic at the facility, something Thyolo District Commissioner Douglas Moffat has hailed.

"To us, this is the first of its kind to have this service in the district. I will be looking forward to partner with them. As a council we will be providing staff, as you can seen also we have even provided furniture.

"But beyond that, our health personnel are not specialised, so the council will be investing in capacities to make sure they have special skills on how to handle old people," Maffat promised.

Meanwhile, Traditional Authority Nanseta has asked the council to construct a fence and staff houses at the facility which only has two against about 60 health workers.

On that, DC Moffat asked the local development committees to submit their development proposals to be included in the District Development Fund (DDF) blueprint which will be under review soon.

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