Elderly and patient abandonmant in Myanmar higher among men

photo 2024 06 19 15 43 50
A man abandoned by a roadside.

Among the elderly people and patients in Myanmar, men are more likely to be abandoned than women, according to Daw Shwe Le, chairperson of the Shwe Myittar Parahita Association, based on her experience.
Those in their 60s and 70s are abandoned because of old age, while those in their 30s and 50s are discarded because of social problems, alcoholism and chronic infectious diseases, she said.
“During the three years of our association’s existence, most of the people who live on the roadside in illness and deep-rooted problems are men. They range from middle age to old age. Of the people we have helped, 80 to 85 per cent are men,” she said.
Citing similar conditions in four cases, she added that the abandoned people had committed adultery when they were young and were abandoned on the streets as there was no one to support them in their old age.
“When he was young, he lived with a lesser wife. All the wealth he accumulated were spent on pleasures with his lesser wife. When a bad situation arose, the lesser wife didn’t accept him anymore. He couldn’t go either to the legally wedded wife or the mistress. We saw these similar conditions in three or four cases,” she said.
With severe alcoholism in successful life situations, some people faced deteriorating health and inconveniences at work, leading to a situation of abandonment with no one to help.
“Most of the men, aged between 30 and 50, had problems with alcoholism. And some of them had TB, AIDS or asthma. As these chronic diseases are a huge burden on their families, they were found to be abandoned,” she explained. — Htet Oo Maung/ZN/ED

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