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The situation of the elderly in Cameroon

Quick explanation of the context of the elderly
January 12, 2017
Sophie Mille
personnes agées 3ème âge défis sanitaire sociaux économiques statistiques plus de 60 ans

Despite the fact that they represent 11% of the total population, seniors continue to be a vulnerable group in Cameroon.

In the past, care for the elderly was the responsibility of the family and the entire community (respect, care and affection traditionally reserved for them). But because of social changes, this solidarity is now being put to the test. Today, seniors face social isolation, coupled with financial insecurity. The majority of them do not benefit from any pension and for those lucky enough to have one, it is too paltry to allow them to live decently.

Many elderly have no other choice than to fall into begging. Indeed, most of the elderly retire without owning their housing or own dilapidated and unhealthy housing. In general, most of the housing where the elderly live has numerous hazards: presence of mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants and other pests and mice. Naturally, this causes diseases…

And as if that were not enough, they are often on the receiving end of the younger generations’ negative attitudes, violence and marginalization, and some families are abandoning their elderly members.

Now, aging is evaluated in terms of health, social and economic challenges.

"In buses, hospitals, and in different departments, we notice that we are no longer respected. And yet, we would love to be approached and be guides for young people,” says Nicole Momo, a retired teacher.

Moreover, facilities for the elderly in Cameroon are almost non-existent. Retirement homes and the care of this segment of the population in hospitals is a dream.

PYet, according to United Nations statistics, the proportion of people over 60 years of age is increasing faster than any other age group. Population growth will be rapid, especially in developing countries where the elderly population is expected to quadruple over the next 50 years.


Sophie Mille

Equipe des Projets Rosalie

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