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Access To Health Coverage Must Extend To Africa’s Elderly Population

Project Syndicate: Health Coverage Must Not Ignore Africa’s Elderly
Brian Atuhaire, immunization consultant at the WHO and a 2018 Aspen New Voices fellow

“…Access to health care is an obsession for experts in international development. In May, at the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly, officials … discussed how to achieve universal health coverage through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. And yet, most of the attention centered on mothers, newborns, and children; elderly populations in developing countries were largely ignored. Failure to address this omission would leave an increasing share of the population without access to affordable health care. … [A] dearth of dedicated resources does not mean that Africa’s leaders must ignore their older constituents. By combining elder-care services with existing programs, health benefits can be extended to underserved populations. … The integrity of any society can be judged by how well it treats its youngest and oldest members. That calculus applies to governments, too” (7/12).

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