HelpAge Tanzania conducted a study in Kidabaga, Mwatasi and Mhanga villages, Kilolo District, in Iringa region to build baseline data to promote and monitor mobility‐focused interventions for rural older people. 3 approaches were used to conduct the study:
10 older people co‐researchers were trained to shape the survey tools used in Kibaha ensuring it was suitable for the 3 villages
13 Research Assistants led by 4 older peer researchers conducted household surveys with 358 older people to collect quantitative data
31 key informants representing health professionals, village leaders and transport providers were interviewed to triangulate the survey data.
The findings show that current access of older people to health services is constrained by their poor access to transport services (affected both by cost and availability). Only Kidabaga has a clinic, while Mwatasi has a small dispensary, with no health facilities in Mhanga. Walking is the most common means of reaching health facilities by older people in all villages, with trip durations ranging from 15 minutes to over 4 hours.
For 64% of older people surveyed in Mhanga, and for 30% of older people surveyed in Mwatasi, travel is the key barrier to accessing healthcare, where by contrast, in Kidabaga the user fee was found to be the main problem. Due to lack of transport, older farmers have limited livelihood opportunities and depend on traders who come to the village. Nevertheless, the influx of boda‐bodas, particularly in Kidabaga and Mwatasi, has significantly improved the mobility of older people, especially in the provision of emergency transport, despite the high fares.
This report is an output from the Africa Commuity Access Partnership (AFCAP) programme.
Tewodros, A. Learning with Older People about their Transport and Mobility Problems in Rural Tanzania: Final Report. Cardno Emerging Market (UK) Ltd, Thame, UK (2015), 76p