As a network of older women advocating for the human rights of African grandmothers, we have always been guided by the African philosophy of ubuntu. Ubuntu defines what it means to be truly human: we affirm our own humanity when we acknowledge the full humanity of others. The ubuntu principles of dignity, respect, empathy, caring, sharing, and compassion are more needed than ever in these unprecedented times.
Older women in sub-Saharan Africa are often dealing with a variety of health challenges. Due to poverty, many do not have the basic resources required for health, such as nutritious food, clean water and adequate housing. Many suffer from HIV/AIDS, TB, or malaria, as well as untreated chronic problems and diseases such as high blood pressure and arthritis. Often older women do not have access to required medicines and affordable, age-friendly health and social services. This is why GRAN campaigns for access to more generic drugs, fair pricing by pharmaceutical companies, and increased investment by Canada and the world to improve access, affordability and age-friendly health care.