Burundi elders to be fully supported

On the occasion of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day celebrated on 15 June, old people sheltered by “Sainte Elisabeth” Hospice in Bujumbura city call for support as they are victims of discrimination and rejection by their family members.

Old people sheltered in Sainte Elisabeth Hospice

Sainte Elisabeth Hospice shelters at least 50 old people including men and women in Rohero neighborhood in Bujumbura city. “They are from different provinces of the country,” says Nun Colette Murimbane, Managing Director of the center. She also says they look for the center’s shelter for different motives. “Some are discriminated while others are rejected by the family members,” she says.

Mathias Ndirazeragiza, 110, from Isare commune in Bujumbura province says the center helps them to fulfill their needs. “Not only was it difficult for us to have access to food and clothes, but also it was not easy to have access to health care,” says Ndirazeragiza.
As for Marthe Nindorera, 82, from Ndava commune in Mwaro province, the government should establish different health centers to facilitate their movement. “If we don’t have support from other people, we cannot move easily,” she says.

Léocadie Ndikumana, 67, says she was rejected by her family members due to her illness. “Any family member didn’t want to support me,” she deplores. Thanks to Sainte Elisabeth Hospice, Ms Ndikumana receives all essential needs including health care.

Nun Colette Murimbane exhorts the government to increase centers that shelter old people. “It would be better if they are sheltered in their local areas. They feel that they are near their homes,” she says adding that it should also provide materials and medicines to the center. “Old people finally become disabled people who need wheelchairs, special food and medicines,” she concludes.

According to a study conducted by the National Social Protection Commission in February 2017, Burundi had more than 449,000 old people i.e. 4.28% of the population.