Society not only neglects older persons but also lack knowledge on ageing. During a stakeholder meeting in Gweru to wrap up the NAC coordinated Parliamentary HIV Tour and Capacity Building engagement meeting, the NANZ Coordinator Mr Marck Chikanza highlighted that the prevalence rate among older persons is higher than the national rate and that action must be taken to improve older persons access to age friendly HIV and AIDS services and access to income through universal pensions. The objective of the stakeholders’ meeting was to enable NAC and stakeholders to note programmatic gaps and challenges for future programming.

The NANZ Coordinator presenting on Older Persons and HIV and AIDS

As part of follow-up actions that stakeholders need to address based on the presentations and discussions, MPs were called upon to promote inclusion of the elderly in the HIV and AIDS response and scaling up of the Zvishavane project supported by NANZ. The project provided skills for active participation of older persons in the community, community gardens and access to health and HIV services. The parliamentarians also highlighted the need to go to the ground, visit the projects being done by older persons as way of understanding issues affecting older persons and how they are coping.

Presenters responding to questions from the parliamentarians, It’s an intergenerational approach

The rate of HIV among older persons in Zimbabwe is worrying and can not be ignored. PLHIV in the 50+ age group has risen from 13,8 percent to 14.3 percent. I addition to living with HIV older persons face the burden of care arising from caring for ill children and orphaned grandchildren.” It’s sad. It’s worrying when you look at the rate of HIV among aged persons here….” Marck Chikanza

Looking at HIV and AIDS and older persons points to the need for increased inclusion of the 50+ population in HIV and AIDS programming. Follow link for the story