An international nongovernmental organization (NGO) said older people in Kenya are being subjected to physical or emotional abuse by next of kin and the wider community. Kenya
“Violence against older people in Kenya has reached a crises proportion. In Kilifi County (coast region), for example, the county government and police recently released a report that indicated 104 older persons were killed in the month of June on suspicion of witchcraft,” said Prafulla Mishra, regional director of the Help Age International, in a statement released on Monday.
Campaigners have lobbied the government to domesticate global statutes that promote the welfare of senior citizens.
Mishra said that Kenya is a signatory to the UN convention on the rights of older persons. He emphasized that elders remain Kenya’s priceless asset since they are a reservoir of wisdom and expertise in many fields.
According to the NGO, Kenya’s population of elder people stands at 4 percent or 1.5 million people. The number of senior citizens grappling with neglect, abuse and material deprivation has spiked in recent years.
Bridget Sleap, senior policy advisor at Help Age International, said that elders have suffered from marginalization, abject poverty and ill health.
“Older persons repeatedly say they are considered useless, incompetent and a drain on resources by their families and the wider society,” Sleap said, adding that exhaustive studies have revealed that many countries have not done enough to uplift the living standards of older people.
According to Jane Gaturu, a social worker, Kenya has very few homes to provide safe haven to the swelling number of neglected senior citizens.
“The number of older persons deserted, neglected and dumped by relatives is on the rise, yet institutions meant to host them are few and under-funded,” Gaturu said. Enditem



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