Pioneer Work for Elderly People in Uganda

We recently had the pleasure to visit the new Health and Community Centre for elderly people in Kampala and meet their lovely team! 

Thanks to our donor Cureus GmbH and the local partner, the ground floor of the Centre was finished in July of this year – the facility is now painted and has running water and electricity. Showers and toilets are equipped with many handles so that patients can wash on their own if they prefer to do so in privacy.

At the Centre, elderly people can attend various workshops, receive physiotherapy, attend discussion groups, and exchange ideas with their peers. The oldest visitor to the Centre is 106 years old! A very outstanding and unique place in Uganda and additionally an important space for people, who are often overlooked. 

To clarify, across Uganda, many elderly people live in poverty. Without access to retirement money and health insurance, as well as eroding traditions of family support, many have no choice but to continue working into older age doing small-scale, low-paid farming or petty trade. This is seen as the key reason for their poor health. 

Clinical services were found to be of low quality with little or no access to facilities, trained personnel, and medicines and there are no rehabilitative or mental health services available. Moreover, a sense of community marginalization and exclusion is present towards elderly people in Ugandan society. 

Our implementing partner Uganda Reach the Aged Association (URAA) is really doing pioneer work in this field as the government doesn’t provide. Therefore, in addition to all the activities with the elderly themselves, the organization is also trying to advance the issue of elderly care in politics through lobbying. Overall, this centre is incredibly forward-thinking, as all young people will eventually grow old, making places like these much needed. 

And they have big plans for the upcoming years: They want to build a second and third floor and create a place for recreation and gathering in the garden behind the building.

All in all, we were very impressed – a very special place, run by an even more special team.