Monja Minsi is a Social Worker, Developmentalist and Public Health Specialist. Monja is a leading researcher in the field of ageing and society with over 16-Years of experience in social gerontology and geriatrics. He has been published extensively as author and co-author of over 30 papers in highly regarded, peer-reviewed journals. He frequently speaks at international and local conferences and symposiums. Monja is passionate about people, leadership and successful policy advocacy change. He is especially inspired to help people take their careers and themselves to unprecedented levels. He works with individual older people and their organisations to amplify their communication, connection and confidence so they can make an influential impact on the world. He mentors with passion, guiding his clients to effectively strengthen and elevate their leadership vision to new heights. Monja’s down-to-earth humor compels audiences to laugh while they learn. He engages groups from the moment he steps in front of them and leaves them with empowering tools and focused mindsets that they will use long after the lights have gone out on the event. Monja graduated at Uganda Christian University with a Bachelor of Social Work and social Administration. He is also a Commonwealth Alumni with a Master of Science in Development Management at Open University United Kingdom. He also recently completed a Master of Public Health-Health Promotion at Uganda Martyrs University.
Older Caregivers are a missing link in care chain – The case for Uganda
After working at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique for 3 years, Bridget completed a Masters Degree in International Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Since then, she has worked on human rights and development at the
Panos Institute, International Family Health and now HelpAge International where she focuses on strengthening the rights of older people through the use of human rights mechanisms.
She has built knowledge of human rights law, norms and principles over the last eight years through research and direct engagement with the human rights system. She has researched how existing international human rights standards apply to older persons for HelpAge’s input to the work of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA). She worked with the CEDAW Committee on drafting General Recommendation No. 27 on older women’s rights and provided input on CESCR’s General Comment No 19 on the right to social security. She has developed an understanding of human rights norms through writing shadow reports on the rights of older persons to CEDAW, CESCR and the UPR for States from across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and supporting civil society input to the 2013 OHCHR’s public consultation on older persons rights. She has worked with the special rapporteurs on the right to health, violence against women, human rights and extreme poverty, and housing on the intersection between their mandates and the rights of older persons through submitting evidence, participating in an expert group meeting, facilitating meetings with civil society during country visits and being a panelist for a report presentation to the Human Rights Council.
Joseph Nyende is the Executive Director of Foundation for Male Engagement Uganda (FOME), an organization working with men and boys to end all forms of violence against women and girls, perpetrated by men and boys. FOME also works to address the poor health seeking behaviors of men in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Mental Health and SRHR. FOME works with men and boys to prevent Gender Based Violence (GBV), child marriages and child pregnancies and all forms of violence against women and girls including violent extremism. Joseph has an interest in ageing and has previously presented papers on ageing and health in Africa and served on several advocacy groups for older persons in Uganda and in the region.
Joseph is the current chair of the Civil Society Advocacy Coalition for Integrated SRHR/HIV/GBV, coordinated by FOME with support from UNFPA Uganda Country office. He also serves on the Steering Committee for MenEngage Uganda Network and is a board representative for the Civil Society Coalition Against violent extremism in Uganda and a member of several advocacy coalitions in Uganda and East Africa.
He is a member of the Public Policy Society of Uganda (PPSU) and the Uganda Evaluation Association (UAE).
Kibirige Ben (@DrBENK2), is a Women rights activist, SRHR Consultant/Master trainer, public health practitioner and a medical worker committed to promoting the sexual and reproductive health rights of young people and adults. He is an orthopedic technologist but with a bias on preventative medicine. He strongly advocates for gender equality, Women rights, equal, quality and affordable health care for the elderly, youth, young girls and women and also meaningful empowered youth participation in national development processes.
Kibirige Ben is also a public speaker and privileged to be the General Secretary for the SHE DECIDES UG local movement and founder for the Centre for Young mother’s Voices and currently working as the Advocacy, Research and policy Manager for the Foundation for Male engagement (FOME), a proud member of the Men engage Network.
Minsi Monja, NIRAS IP Consult International, Uganda
Bridget Sleap, HelpAge International, United Kingdom
Joseph Nyende, Foundation for Male Engagement, Uganda
Ben Kibirige, Foundation for Male Engagement, Uganda
Older Persons (OPs) constitute 2.7% of Uganda’s Population[i]. OPs are defined as those over 60-years+ and are classified as most fragile and the poorest members of the society with 64% living below the poverty line. About 85% of the active OPs are engaged in crop farming with no social security, rendering them totally vulnerable. OPs lack access to regular income and no benefit from social security services coupled with society’s negative attitude to engaging OPs in wage-earning jobs making OPs’ resource base grossly reduced[ii] . OPs are unable to meet basic necessities for themselves and their families, which leads not only to chronic poverty but also loss of value and dignity in the community. OPs’ persistent ill health further reduces their ability to engage in productive work while at the same time drawing their little resources to seek medical care for incurable illnesses. Many live-in dilapidated housings coupled with poor nutrition. OPs’ economic situation is worsened by the burden of caring for 70% AIDS orphans below 18 years, the chronically ill and pregnant women[iii]. Further constraining their already meagre and overstretched resource base. Moreover, 7.1% benefit from pensions as traditional social support networks that used to take care of OPs are weakened, leaving them emotionally affected, helpless and more prone to diseases. Health care-related costs still remain a major reason for OPs to postpone or not seek care coupled with inaccessibility of service points, unavailability of affordable drugs, perceived lack of skilled staff, and overall perceived substandard quality of the care offered to OPs. Supported 180 local OPs’ associations to inform OP about their right to social protection (SP) and care. Strengthened skills of OP leaders and OPs’ associations to monitor and advocate for policy change at local level. Worked with Uganda Reach the Aged Association and HelpAge International, Uganda Civil Society Platform for SP and Ministry of Gender for delivery of SP. Used data collected by older citizen monitors, peer exchange visits by project staff, project monitoring reports and reviewed literature on voice and accountability in SP. Pension has transformed OPs’ lives, their households and their wider communities. Poverty rate of households receiving the pension fell from 49% to 33% while the proportion experiencing hunger reduced from 55% to 38%. Pensioners have invested their cash in establishing small businesses, purchasing livestock and agricultural inputs. 50% OPs receive assistance from other households. Social pensions reduce old-age poverty and improve OP’s access to healthcare by enabling them pay for travel to health centres and treatment. Social pensions renew OP’s sense of dignity by giving them more financial independence and opportunity to be involved in household decision-making and social networks. The workshop session will strengthen the capacity of delegates: a comprehensive description of an older caregiver to the delegates, barriers to older caregivers’ involvement in Uganda’s healthcare system, challenges faced by older caregivers, responsibilities of older caregivers, self-care skills for older carers, how to build more supportive relationships between older carers and children under their care, strategies that health care providers, community caregivers, counsellors and technocrats can use to support older caregivers and those under their care to deal with different forms of abuse.
[i] United Nations (2017), World population prospects
[ii] Kowal, K. Kahn, N. Ng et al., (2010) Ageing and adult health status in eight lower-income countries: the in-depth who-sage collaboration,” Global Health Action, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 11–22
[iii] Ministry of Finance (2016). Chronic Poverty Among the Elderly in Uganda: Perceptions, Experiences and Policy Issues