Guidelines on Health and Ageing to be launched on International Day of older persons 1st October 2022 in Nebbi District

Every year on 1st October, the World comes together to observe the International Day of Older Persons to specifically raise awareness on the needs and concerns of Older Persons.

Guidelines on Health and Ageing to be launched on International Day of older persons 1st October 2022 in Nebbi District

NEBBI - Hon. Dominic Mafwabi Gidudu, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, in charge Elderly affairs and Member of Parliament representing the Elderly from Eastern Region has revealed that the Special Enterprise Grant for Older Persons (SEGOP) to target older persons aged 60-79 years will be launched on 1st October 2022.

Every year on 1st October, the World comes together to observe the International Day of Older Persons to specifically raise awareness on the needs and concerns of Older Persons.

It’s a day to celebrate ageing and challenge negative stereotypes about Older Persons. It’s a time dedicated for everyone to join hands in breaking ageism that links old age to vulnerability.

The International day of Older Persons was observed for the first time throughout the world on 1st October 1991 and Uganda started commemorating the day in 1999.

According to the UN Report of 2017, between 2017 and 2050, the number of older persons in the developing world is predicted to increase from 652 million to 2.1 billion. The same U. N. report projects that by 2047, there will be more older persons than children.

Uganda is already on the path to this trajectory as evidenced by the increase in the number of older persons from 1.4m in 2015 to 2.2m in 2022 as per UBOS projections. This increase in population is a result of improved life expectancy among the population resulting from improved health seeking behaviour, advancement in health technology among others.

The Government remains committed and prepared to address the concerns and needs that come with increased older persons’ population, by eliminating all forms of neglect, abuse and violence as provided for under Article 32 of the Constitution, while promoting recognition of their contribution to national development.

The celebrations this year will be marked under the theme: “Resilience of Older Persons to cope in a changing world.” The theme was derived from the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic worsened existing inequalities among older persons within the past three years. This impacted negatively on the socio-economic, and condition of older persons hence the need of resilience building.

The Venue for this year’s national celebrations in Nebbi Town Council in Nebbi Municipality and His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda is expected to preside over the celebrations, as a Chief Guest.

Hon. Gidudu revealed that Government revised the Parish Development Model Guidelines to include 10% allocation for Older Person’s enterprises which will enable them to be active in the money economy. The inclusion under the Parish Development Model has already been completed awaiting funds to start transacting business.

It should be recalled that late last year, Older Persons requested to have the target of age for Senior Citizens Grant beneficiaries to be lowered. However, although it was not possible due to limited resources, Government has initiated the Special Enterprise Grant for Older Persons (SEGOP) to target older persons aged 60-79 years who are not receiving SAGE to start income generating enterprises to support their households. This Financial Year, Government has allocated 5Billion to kickstart the Program. This program will be launched during the National Celebrations.

To further affirm Government’s commitment towards improving Older Persons welfare, UGX121,124Billion has been allocated to sustain SAGE programme following the expiry of the funding agreement with Development Partners. This means that government has fully taken over funding of the Senior Citizens Grants which gives Older Persons a monthly stipend of 25,000shs.

The National Council for Older Persons budget has also increased from UGX700million to 2.4Billion to strengthen monitoring of government programmes for maximum inclusion of Older Persons as requested last year. Hon. Gidudu says modalities are underway to ensure that the National Council transfers part of these funds to the District and City Councils soon to facilitate monitoring and compliance with the policy framework of Older Persons.

During last year’s commemoration, H. E. the President directed the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development to develop guidelines on Health and Ageing in a bid to enhance active ageing among Older Persons. The Guidelines will be launched on 1st October 2022.