Aging in Sub-Saharan Africa: Recommendations for Furthering by National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social

By National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Committee on Population, Panel on Policy Research and Data Needs to Meet the Challenge of Aging in Africa, Jane Menken, Barney Cohen

In keeping with a workshop geared up through the Committee on inhabitants in collaboration with the overall healthiness and inhabitants department, institution of Public well-being, Univ. of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, in July, c2004. provides to wisdom of the location of older humans in sub-Saharan Africa, and indicates extra examine during this region. For researchers. Softcover.

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The panel also wishes to emphasize the importance of facilitating research, building local research capacity, and supporting the development of a local research network in sub-Saharan Africa that can support essential studies on the nature and consequences of its population aging and the context in which it is occurring. 9 After consideration of the general state of knowledge about aging in sub-Saharan Africa, recent research developments and emerging opportunities, and the strength of local research capacity, the panel arrived at the following recommendations, grouped under research agenda and funding, enhancing research opportunity and implementation, and translation of research findings that they feel could help improve the future development of the field.

Finally, in order to understand the determinants of health and disability among older people, health care researchers in sub-Saharan Africa not only need to understand the general socioeconomic, cultural, and environment conditions, but they also need to understand how patterns of health care utilization are changing over time. Sub-Saharan African governments typically struggle to provide health care services to older people in rural areas who still tend to have far poorer access to any kind of service relative to urban dwellers.

The authors have found that the fiscal cost of providing a universal noncontributory social pension to all of older people in sub-Saharan Africa would be quite high, around 2 to 3 percent of gross domestic product, a level comparable to—or even higher than—the current levels of public spending on health care in some subSaharan African nations. The authors argue that the case for universal social pensions also appears to be weak on welfare grounds, inasmuch as there are other groups competing for scarce safety net resources (such as families with many children) whose incidence and prevalence of poverty is much higher than that of older people.

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