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Know your elders, DEDs told

DEPUTY Minister of State in the President’s Office, (Regional Administration and Local Governments), Dr Festo Ndugange has directed local leaders from village level to ensure they have a database of all elders living in their areas.

The deputy minister issued the directive to District Executive Directors (DEDs) to supervise and ensure that district health officers visit all villages to collect accurate data of all elders.

“Leaders at village levels should ensure there is a list of all elders in their areas. The district executive directors (DEDs) should supervise this and ensure health officers pass in all villages to collect accurate data of all elders,” he added.

Dr Ndugange issued the directive in Parliament where he noted that the government has identified and given special Identification cards (IDs) to at least 1,087,008 poor elders in the country to enable them access various essential services, including quality health services.

It has also issued health insurance cards under the Community Health Fund (CHF) to 856,052 elders who are also enjoying access to health services in various health centres and hospitals in the country.

Deputy Minister Ndugange made the observation when responding to a question by Ghati Chomete who sought to know the government’s move in ensuring all elders in the country access quality and timely health services.

Dr Ndugange said that by December 2020, the government had identified and registered a total of 2,344,747 elders, which is 87 per cent of the estimated elders in the country.

Among them, 1,092,310 are men and 1,252,437 are women. He noted that the aim of the national health policy is to provide free health services to elders from dispensary to national hospital level.

He said the government was looking for a better system to ensure that senior citizens enjoy health services anywhere in the country.

In his basic question, Special-Seats MP, Ghati Chomete (CCM) wanted to know the government’s plans in strengthening implementation of the national policy of providing free health services to elders in Mara Region.

Responding, the deputy minister said the government has identified and registered at least 70,170 elders in Mara Region. He said 32,900 are men and 37,270 are women.

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Author: BERNARD LUGONGO & KATARE MBASHIRU

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