Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Helpage in plea for the elderly

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Paulina David, Mwanza

Organisations engaged in HIV/Aids fight have been advised to incorporate the elderly in their activities.

Helpage International programme manager in the Lake Zone Leonard Ndamgoba, observed that the elderly in the country were being sidelined by the organisations.

Old people whose children had died of Aids, are taking care of their grand children at the time when most of them are no longer capable of earning any income.

He said the elderly get infected by HIV pandemic through taking take care of sick sons and daughters without basic skills or protective gear.

When the patient dies, his or her poor parents assume the responsibility of raising the orphaned children.

Mr Ndamgoba made the remarks when addressing reporters shortly after he inspected low cost houses for the elderly being constructed by Helpage International in collaboration with community members in Kwimba District, Mwanza Region.

District councils should also consider setting aside funds for the elderly to assist them obtain basic needs, he said.

In the same vain, Mr Ndamgoba called on financial institutions in the country to consider the possibility of providing the elderly with soft loans for them to engage in income generating activities.

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