Ageing and Life Course

Impact of AIDS on older people in Africa

Voices of older people: are we listening?

Photo by Robert Agyarko
73 year old man, Bulawayo caring for 4 orphans aged 3 months, 6 months, 2 and 4 years:

"I am emotionally hurt when I look at the orphans, when the orphans cry, sometimes I cry along with them."

62 year old woman, Bulawayo guardian of 3 grandchildren who are all attending school:

"I am so afraid of what the future has in store for these orphans. If I were to die and leave them, who would look after them?"

59 year old woman, Mbare, Harare, she has cared for her dead children and is now taking care of 7 orphaned grandchildren:

"The person with AIDS is very sick and at times loses his/her mind. When this happens it becomes impossible to provide effective care as the sick person may be abusive and violent."

65 year old man, Makoni, Manicaland the main carer of 3 school going aged children:

"Looking after orphans is like starting life all over again, because I have to work on the farm, clean the house, feed the children, buy school uniforms. I thought I would no longer do these things again. I am not sure if I have the energy to cope."

50 year old woman, Seke, Mashonaland East:

"Nursing staff attitude towards us is very negative. They ignore and verbally abuse us. My child died on the stretcher while waiting for them to attend to us."

53 year old woman, Highfield, Harare who takes care of 6 orphans, three older ones aged 20, 17 and 14 are in school, the other three aged 8, 10 and 11 are not enrolled in school:

"The situation is very desperate, I am now forced to engage in selling illegal drugs to raise money to feed the orphans. I am no longer afraid of going to jail."

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