FCS support contributes to elders’s access to free medical in Kagera

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Testimonies from Kagera region have it that the elderly are now enjoying free access to medical services following a facilitation by the former Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) grantee, Saidia Wazee Karagwe (SAWAKA) to attain special identity cards (IDs) that guarantee them free services in local government hospitals.

The result is largely attributed to efforts made by the elderly support organisation (SAWAKA) through funds from the FCS policy engagement program, to ensure medical IDs are made available to the senior citizens. The intervention goal was to ensure the government policy guidelines for free healthcare provision to older people are observed as per the 2003 National Ageing Policy.

The Executive Director of SAWAKA, Mr. Livingstone Byakwasu, says the realization of IDs for free medical services has helped elders from Karagwe and Kyerwa districts to access medical services from different local government hospitals.

He says the outcome follows a number of the training sessions offered by the CSO on the rights of older people’s entitlement, healthcare support and economic empowerment programs.

According to Karagwe District Medical Officer, Mr. Moses Eligawesa, a total of 3,183 older people have been provided with the IDs since the year 2011 when the intervention was first launched.

A resident of Kayungu village in Karagwe district, Daudi Simeo who is one of the beneficiaries of the program says, “I have been able to receive free medical services at Nyakabanga Dispensary unlike before. This is a commendable move.”

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