The world is ageing on a high rate and the number of older persons keeps increasing from time to time. According to the World Health Organization, there are some 600 million people aged 60 and over worldwide and the numbers are expected to soar in double by 2025, and two billion by 2050.
In Uganda and other developing countries, the elderly people are made to line up, mostly in public health facilities as they wait to access health services, something that does not favor them.
According to Mr. Tibasiimwa, who has expressed interest in representing Western Uganda older persons in parliament, older persons, sometimes referred to as senior citizens deserve a properly designed, and working primary health care and insurance system to cater for their health, so the group can deal with snowballing health issues.
“During the COVID-19 lock down, older persons found it hard accessing health care centers since most of the centers are in radius of 5-6 kilometers and older persons could not easily move. Those with some money little money also found medical fees expensive because prices had been hiked. Older persons with complicated illnesses like diabetes, prostate cancer had a rough time because they couldn’t reach medical care in time. There is need for an arrangement to help older persons have accessible and affordable medical services” he said
Mr Tibasiimwa believes, a good health system will address chronic diseases affliction among the elderly.
In Uganda, chronic diseases including diabetes come unexpectedly and disorganize older persons, causing nervousness. This raises numerous health concerns in societies.
Mr Tibasiimwa also wants Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) program money to be increased from 25000(Twenty five thousand) to at least 50,000(Fifty thousand) Uganda shillings, so that the beneficiaries can do more with the money, adding that the current amount of money given to elders may not help them have sustainable programs for their lives.
“You know some of these old people are supported by their children who work in town centers. During the lock down, life became hard and many could no longer be supported by their children. Even those that used to get income from agricultural products became stuck because their products were not moving. It is our request that the SAGE money be increased to at least 50,000, so that elders can do more with it.” Mr. Tibasiimwa requested
He added “We would wish to see older persons remain healthy and active by having accessible and affordable health services. This will help them age gracefully.”
He calls upon older persons to use the SAGE money profitably and shun unproductive lifestyles like overdrinking of alcohol, which leads to wasting.
As Uganda prepares to for elections, Mr. Tibasiimwa appeals to the elderly to exercise their right to vote and choose the right people to represent them in parliament.
“In this regard, I would want them to consider the pioneers of their scheme. I am one of the people who pushed for the SAGE scheme and parliamentary representation of the elderly. It is better if the older persons send me to represent them in Uganda’s parliament,” he said