Elderly Call For Review Of National Health Policies

Uganda Reach the Aged Association is calling for the review of the National Policies on Health to include diseases associated with old age.

Ivan Kintu Advocacy, the Advocacy and Communication Officer Uganda Reach the Aged Association says currently the health policies fell short of addressing common diseases among people of 60 years and above.

He says they although they are different from the ageing process, the diseases make old people incapacitated and cannot engage in active economic activities. Kintu points out that lacking in the policies are specific interventions for aging-associated diseases such as dementia, depression and Alzheimer.

Titus Ouma, a Social Gerontologists at the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development says that incidences increase rapidly with aging. He says the problem is worsened by the limited number of geriatricians in the country.

Kintu points out the need for sensitizing families with ageing people about old age ailments, to enable them come up with both practical and medical solutions that can support elderly people.

He noted that it is a common practice for elderly people suffering from these diseases to be neglected or labeled insane, yet there is medication that can help ease the disease burden. He observed that families often have negative attitudes towards old people because they see them as a burden.

However, Kintu says that in the community, elderly people continually support Orphans and Vulnerable Children left in their care. Medical data shows that elderly people are also likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, cataracts, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and hypertension

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