Elders call for increased budget to their health scheme

DAR ES SALAAM: KIGAMBONI Council of Elders has advised the government to increase budget for health insurance serving the elderly people so that the group could adequately access medical services.

The council argued that the current scheme of the Community Health Fund (CHF) for the group fails to cover all medical tests and drugs.

This has been forcing the elders buy some drugs because they cannot access them through the scheme.

This was said by the Council’s secretary, Ms Veronica Nyande, who said that while the government recognizes the elderly contribution in the country it was important to ensure they receive all their rights.

She highlighted major challenges facing the elderly as lack of income generating activities.

“Among the challenges we face include some families using the elderly to get money by taking them to the streets to beg. This is not acceptable and we call upon the government to take action against such violations of their rights,” said Ms Nyande.

She further called on the government to take legal action against people who are abusing the elderly by either raping, robbing them of their rights or isolating them.

According to her, it should be made mandatory for the public to take care of their old relatives by ensuring they have food, and shelter among other basic needs.

On the issue of the ferry fair, Ms Nyande called on the government to waive the 200/- ferry fee for crossing over to Ķigamboni especially as a majority of elders are underprivileged and therefore cannot afford to pay.

Meanwhile, Kigamboni District Commissioner, Ms Halima Bulembo said the government recognized the elderly and their contribution to their communities and the country as a whole.

She said that is why the government saw it necessary for them to form councils where elderly activities will be coordinated.

“I have received your complaints and will work on them,” she said, promising to take concerns beyond her capacity to responsible authorities.

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