Most older people are at risk of being infected with HIV as they care for the victims of the pandemic.
This was said in Dar es Salaam on Friday by HelpAge International (HAI) Tanzania offices programme manager, Flavian Bafandimu when closing a three days training to journalists intending to unveil the challenges facing older people in the war against HIV/AIDS.
According to Mr Bafandimu, older people in rural areas, were the ones who cares for AIDS patients without having a knowledge on how to handle such cases.
“As we know, most of the AIDS patients are normally taken to their ancestral homes when they are terminally ill. And parents in the village are left with a burden of caring for them,” said Mr Bafandimu.
He said in most cases, the parents do take care of the patients without proper health safety equipment and knowledge on how to handle the victims.
“In a normal way, health workers does not provide education on how these elder people should handle the victims, as a result you find that more elders are being infected,” said he.
He also said that poverty was another reason which put older people in danger of contracting the virus.
“As most of them are poor, you should find that they cannot afford to buy the said equipment, as a result they have no option but handling the victims without preventive gear,” he added.
He pleaded with the government to help the elders on how to deal with AIDS patients so as to reduce the infection rate among older people.
He also urged the governemnt to provide education on the disease and use of Condom to the older people as most of them does not have prior knowledge on such issues.
“Most of infected older people are shy or fraid to go for screening,” said Mr Bafandimu.