© 2013

Aging and Health in Africa

  • Pranitha Maharaj


  • Cross-disciplinary research, addressing diverse issues facing older people

  • Systematically examines aging and health within and across countries at different levels of development in Africa

  • Focuses on the social realities of older population using case studies from several African countries.


Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Pranitha Maharaj
    Pages 1-9
  3. Natashya Kristanna Pillay, Pranitha Maharaj
    Pages 11-51
  4. Farzana Alli, Pranitha Maharaj
    Pages 53-89
  5. Annet Nankwanga, Stella Neema, Julie Phillips
    Pages 139-155
  6. Ganzamungu Zihindula, Pranitha Maharaj
    Pages 197-209
  7. Ashley Gresh, Pranitha Maharaj
    Pages 211-236
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 237-244

About this book


Countries with a high percentage of elders risk a serious disease burden and increasing stress on health and social welfare systems.Nowhere is this more evident than on the African continent, where high poverty rates, civil unrest, and unsteady government structures exist alongside medical advances and longer lifespans.

 Aging and Health in Africa examines this multilayered scenario in abundant detail, providing both a continent-wide overview and nation-specific dispatches regarding an often-marginalized population. The book’s demographic and socioeconomic profile of elders clarifies the connection between aging and health, and offers keys to better understanding our aging planet. Current and emerging policies and programs to improve health promotion and health care for older people are critiqued, and the author analyzes what still needs to be done to achieve world health goals, especially as nations continue to modernize and rebuild. For each country, the relationship is explored between the experience of elders and the larger social context, including:

  •  South Africa: the situation of the “nearly old.”
  • Uganda: the impact of HIV/AIDS on the elderly.
  • Camaroon: elder care arrangements in rural areas.
  • Ghana: elder health and health-seeking behaviors.
  • Congo: health perspectives of older people.
  • Rwanda: understanding the experiences of the rural elderly.

A groundbreaking research reference for a wide range of readers including Africa specialists,cross-cultural psychologists, sociologists, demographers, gerontologists,public health professionals, policymakers, and advocates, Aging and Health in Africa will be valued by an engaged,interdisciplinary audience.


Access to health care Aging in Africa Aging in developing countries Anemia Demography Gerontology HIV/AIDS Healthy aging Malnutrition Population Aging Poverty Quality of life Social Policy Sub-Saharan Africa

Editors and affiliations

  • Pranitha Maharaj
    • 1
  1. 1., Built Environment and Development StudieUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

About the editors

Pranitha Maharaj, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. Before joining the School of Development Studies she was a lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. She holds a Ph.D. from the Centre for Population Studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her areas of interest include aging, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV prevention. She has published widely in top international and national journals, and is also currently involved in policy research. Her most recent work, published in Research on Aging, investigated the impact of AIDS on older people in South Africa.

Bibliographic information