Mitigating the impact of the epidemic on the households and families of older people in rural Uganda: lessons for social protection

Janet Seeley, Kenneth Ekoru


Using quantitative and qualitative data drawn from a population cohort of 20,000 people in South-West Uganda we explored factors (household size/dependency ratios/ residence patterns/ socio-economic status) which may have exacerbated or eased the impact of the AIDS epidemic for older people (70 years and older). We found that higher socio-economic status, large family size and reciprocal relationships with kin/neighbours were particularly important in shielding older people from the negative effects of AIDS-related deaths among their children; elders without these fared badly. Our findings provide pointers for the targeting of social protection for older people in such resource-constrained settings.


HIV and AIDS; Older people; Social protection; Household composition; Africa; Uganda

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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