Older persons want special medical attention in health facilities
By Amos Kakungulu
Mbarara – Through their umbrella association of Uganda Older Persons Association, older persons have pleaded with government to improve on heath services rendered to them, and to provide special medical attention for the elderly whenever they visit health facilities.
Although government has tried to support this category of people, they are still demanding for support as far as health services are concerned. In this case, they are appealing to government to ensure that the elderly are accorded special treatment, adding that there should be specialists in hospitals that are conversant with diseases that normally affect them.
According to Canon David Kabigumira, the national chairperson for older persons and former LC5 chairperson Sheema district revealed that old age comes with many challenges especially non-communicable diseases, and that’s what is basically affecting the old people.
Diseases which mostly affect the elderly include; cancer, diabetes, pain inthe neck, chest, legs and so on, and they require special attention at govern health facilities.
“Personally as the chairman of older persons, I am teaming up with Uganda non-communicable diseases alliance which is doing a lot of health awareness, education, screening, management and referral. Am also working with Dr. Alunga Eye Hospital, the Puncture Association which is for the whole of Africa, and we are trying to collaborate with all these institutions to ensure that we bring and create easy accessibility to health services for our elderly people,” Kabigumira said.
“We are also getting in touch with some specialist who is doing Masters degree in herbal medicine at Mbarara University of Science and Technology who has herbal medicines which is working on prostate glands and pain management.
Right now we have cases and we are saying that in old age they don’t deserve to be operated on because of enlarged prostate glands. So now we have a drink which has been proved that has very many testimonies on ground, and this means that old people will no longer have to go for surgery, but use the herbal drink that has undergone several stages by NDA and they are no longer facing the challenge of enlarged prostate glands, after drinking the herbal medicine. I therefore appeal to government to continue supporting us,” he added.
Kabigumira further said that government has done something to support older persons but it’s not enough, adding that it needs to appreciate the efforts of the elderly because they once worked for it before they retired, and deserve to be supported through health and financial services.
Jolly Kagira, one of the committee members at the national task force for older persons said that the president has tried to financially support the elderly but the people he works with to deliver services have disappointed him.
Adding that he has many time directed the release money for the elderly but at times the money doesn’t reach the beneficiaries. “For example PDM money has almost spent nearly two years on the accounts something which has not benefited the people. We are following this matter and hopefully soon they will receive their PDM money. We are initiating a program to open a SACCO that will financially support our older persons. This will include health services whereby we shall engage some health organisation to provide affordable, and at some point free health services to our elderly people,” Kagira said.
Abbas Kazibwe, the city councilor representing the elderly in Mbarara city council appealed to government to should employ specialists in elderly management in health facilities who understand better the challenges and diseases that affect the elderly.
” I want to tell you that the young doctors of today do not understand well the major challenges that the elderly encounter. We want the elderly to be given first priority in all health facilities, and special doctors that will work better on the diseases that affect them because doctors of this generation cannot help much in diagnosing their illness,” Kazibwe said.