113,500 Fijians living with disabilities

Mereseini Vuniwaqa. Picture: FILE

MORE Fijians are living with disabilities and are more likely to need help in their day-to-day living, says Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

While officiating at the launch of the National Minimum Standards for Institution Homes on Care of Older Persons in Suva yesterday, Mrs Vuniwaqa said according to the national census in 2017, Fijians aged above 60 comprised 9 per cent of the total population (80,483 older Fijians), while people living with disabilities made up 12.8 per cent of the total population (113,595 Fijians).

She said the same census showed that 69 per cent of Fiji’s population were below the age of 40 years which meant that Fiji’s population was currently represented by a structural pyramid which would become an inverted pyramid in a few decades in front of us.

Mrs Vuniwaqa said the social and economic implications for the nation would be vast if Fiji’s population becomes an inverted pyramid.

“The legal framework for our national commitment to the aged and people living with disabilities is stated in the 2013 Constitution which provides for a wide range of socioeconomic rights, these rights include the right to education, access to health care, housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, food security and safe water, and social security protection.”

Mrs Vuniwaqa said Fijians were not only living longer but more people were living with disabilities and were more likely to need some help in their day-to-day living.

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