Health National News Press

Leaders in Dokolo District Raise Concerns Over Ageism Leaving Elderly in Deplorable Conditions

Leaders in Dokolo district, Uganda have raised concerns over the growing problem of ageism which has left many elderly persons in deplorable conditions.

According to the district chairperson, James Oto, lack of adequate care for older people is a major challenge across the country, due to the fast-changing family structures.

The scourge of ageism is particularly severe for older women who are largely abandoned and live in abject poverty.

For instance, Paskolina Odongo, an 85-year-old resident of Adok sub-county in Dokolo District, survives on handouts because she is too frail to fend for herself and many elderly persons are trapped in similar vulnerable conditions.

Prof. Richard Nam, a senior Gynecologist, notes that many elderly persons have complications resulting from poor living conditions. He argues that urgent health insurance for the elderly should be considered by the government in addition to the SAGE money.

In response to the situation, Dokolo District with the support of the woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal, has been moving from parish to parish documenting the elderly. However, the district chairperson, James Oto, notes that the majority are not benefiting from SAGE.

Nelson Ojungu, another elderly person in the district, claims that he was left out of the SAGE program because his data was wrongly captured during ID enrolment.

The number of older persons in Uganda has been increasing steadily, from 1.1 million in 2002 to 1.3 million in 2010, and is projected to hit 5.5 million by 2050.

To address the issue, the woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal, has been building low-cost houses for the most vulnerable and iconic figures who retired from service with dignity. The leaders hope that these efforts will ease the burden of ageism in the district and provide a better life for the elderly.

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