By Shibah Nasali
Uganda will join the rest of the world to celebrate the international day for Older Persons On 1st October 2020 under the theme “Upholding the Rights of Older Persons during COVID-19:A Call for Action.”
addressing the media today Wednesday 30th September at the Media Centre, Honorable Sarah Kanyike the Minister of State for the Elderly and Disabled persons said that this year’s celebrations will be held in a scientific function at State House Entebbe with President Yoweri Museveni as the guest of honour.
According to ministry of Health, 345 older persons have tested positive for COVID-19 while 14 of these have succumbed to the pandemic since 1st May 2020 to date. This has been attributed to the poor health seeking behavior of older persons.
Honourable Sarah Kanyike stressed that the older persons have been greatly affected by COVID -19 due to their underlying health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes among others. They have also experienced difficulty in accessing health care and basic needs such as food and the restrictions have left most elderly people at a risk of increased health complications, isolation, lack of material and social support among others.
The government has therefore, developed Standard Operating Procedures to sensitize the elderly people and their care givers about how they can safeguard themselves from the risks of COVID -19 infections and how the care givers can best look after them while following the necessary precautions.
The minister has also promised that the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is going to reach out to the older persons who missed out on the mass enrollment and could not access the grant. Each one of them will be served through the ongoing home based enrollment exercise.
She also informed the public that five positions have been created in parliament and dedicated to older persons. This will include a representative from each of the four regions namely Eastern, western, Northern and central as well as one female representative for the entire country.
Hon.Kanyike concluded by calling upon all stakeholders to continuously and at all times uphold the rights of older person.