By Mike Musisi Musoke
The Minister of State for Gender, Labour and Social Development in charge of Gender and Culture Peace Mutuuzo has re-affirmed government’s commitment to ensure that elderly persons above the age of 65 years live a happy, dignified and enjoyable life to the time of their departure.
She was on Saturday officiating at the national World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day function held at Mukono district headquarters under the theme: “Older Persons’ Economic Empowerment: A Pre-requisite to Autonomy and Independence”.
Addressing elderly persons at the Reach One Touch One Ministry (ROTOM) home for the elderly at Namubiru village in Nama sub-county, Mutuuzo disclosed that this financial year, government is extending its service of doling out 25,000/= monthly to Ugandans aged 65 years and above, to cover all districts, up from the fifty-seven currently covered by the programme.
She also said that government is planning to equip all government health units with drugs to address age-related diseases, and to order that such drugs are distributed at subsidized prices in private health outlets.
Responding to a question as to why Mukono is not among districts covered by the assistance grant for the elderly, the minister said that priority was given to districts in a visibly dire need situation and those that have till of late been involved in civil strides like those in northern Uganda.
On abuse to the aged, she disclosed that government has set up mechanisms of monitoring such abuse and perpetrators, adding that police has been facilitated to make follow ups and adequately bring perpetrators to book.
She reiterated government’s concern for the vulnerable population, and cited providing a friendly atmosphere for elderly persons’ homes like ROTOM to be set up, and called on capable Ugandans to follow the example of ROTOM.