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Nairobi’s Zero Draft Policy for Older Persons Takes Stride Towards Inclusivity

NAIROBI: 16th March 2024

The zero draft policy for older persons in Nairobi City County marks a significant step towards addressing the needs and challenges faced by seniors in our community. Since its inception last year, there has been notable progress in several key areas.

Stakeholder Engagements taking center stage key partner being HelpAge International (Kenya), the drafting process has involved extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including older persons themselves, community leaders, healthcare professionals, social workers, and policymakers. This inclusive approach ensures that the policy reflects the diverse needs and perspectives of older residents in Nairobi.
Oldpersonspol6Research and Data Collection, Policy formulation, Awareness, partnerships and collaborations Efforts have been made to gather comprehensive data and research findings related to the health, housing, social, and economic needs of older persons in Nairobi. This data-driven approach ensures that the policy is based on evidence and tailored to address the specific challenges faced by seniors in our city.

Chief Officer for Social Services George Mutiso, while speaking during the review meeting with HelpAge said that the development of a comprehensive policy for older persons in Nairobi City County is not only a moral imperative but also essential for building a more inclusive and compassionate society. By prioritizing healthcare, housing, social inclusion, elder rights, and transportation, we can ensure that our elders can age with dignity, respect, and security.

He said “We must address the issue of elder abuse and exploitation, which sadly remains prevalent in many communities. Our policy should include measures to raise awareness about elder rights, establish support services for victims of abuse, and strengthen legal protections for older persons.”
Oldpersonspol9Dr. Kimolo, Director Policy and Research who is part of the team helping with the policy development highlighted key areas in policy formulation and the expectations of the final document. The zero draft policy outlines a framework for addressing key in the policy development.

Mr. Evans Mogire County Legal representative said it was important to also address legal issues for older citizens especially exploitation and abuse and highlight their concerns legal representation and challenges facing them. He said that these concerns need to be addressed in the policy.

Fred Ogutu Assistant Director Family Welfare said many seniors face challenges especially those living with disabilities accessing public transportation due to physical limitations or inadequate infrastructure. He said the policy will prioritize the development of accessible and affordable transportation options, including specialized services for older residents.

HelpAge representative Rose Mbwire said once the policy is finalized and implementation kicks off Nairobi County will be the first County in Kenya to develop and implement such a policy and will put Nairobi City on the map as an Age friendly City. World Health Organization (WHO) supports age friendly cities in the world.

Her counterpart Lydia said the United Nations Decade of Healthy Living (2021–2030) is a global collaboration, aligned with the last ten years of the Sustainable Development Goals, to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live. She said the population of older persons is expected to double within that period and it is imperative that this policy is finalized and implemented within the shortest period possible.
Oldpersonspol7The Chief Officer further noted that “While progress has been made, it is essential to acknowledge that there is still much work to be done. Moving forward, it will be crucial to finalize the policy, allocate resources for its implementation, and establish monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track progress and address emerging challenges. With continued commitment and collaboration, we can create a more age-friendly and inclusive Nairobi City County where older persons can live with dignity, respect, and security.”

The review team comprised Assistant Directors Rosemary Kibathi and Christine Ogondo, County legal team Evans Mogire Rose Bwire Help Age International-Kenya, among others.


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