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Rural Aging: World 

Archives  2004

Kyrgyzstan: Landslide Villagers Reluctant to Resettle (December 29, 2004)
Landslides, avalanches and floods are common in this rural area of Kyrgyzstan. The government decided to resettle the population living in the most dangerous areas of the mountains. But the villagers say that the government does not give the inhabitants the financial means to build or buy a new house somewhere else. At present about 73 percent of the villagers live under the poverty line. Besides, these rural inhabitants are very attached to their land where their families have lived for centuries. "Most of those who do not want to move are elderly. We ask the public prosecutor to deal with those families who do not want to resettle," said Sultanbek Abdiev, the governor of Alai district.

Saudi Arabia: Municipality Election in Saudi Arabia (December 3, 2004)
Older Saudi Arabian citizens came to vote in recent municipal elections held in the Dawaser and Dawadmi Valleys. Motiviated to encourage development and growth in their country, these elderly persons made extraordinary efforts to reach the election centers.

Ivory Coast : “I Would Never Think About Leaving Ivory Coast, Never” (November 23, 2004)
(Article in French)
Claude, 62-years-old, and her son Gerard, 30-year-old, were farmers in a little quiet area in Ivory Coast. As minority whites who stayed in the Ivory Coast after the French yielded independence, they carried out their livelihood in this predominantly black African country. After French soldiers destroyed the Ivory Coast Air Force, black African Ivory Coast citizens occupied their farm. Claude and Gerard ran away for three days in the wilderness and then were repatriated to France. They say they will never go back.

Chile: The Poverty of Politics (November 22, 2004)
There is a need to adjust rural poverty policies creatively to take into account an increasingly senior population that has very meager pension coverage. According to one survey, only 45,5% of rural inhabitants contribute to any pension system, which generates a bigger gap between those that the State can take care of and those who cannot be reached. To remedy this situation, the State must begin to devise of an effective pension plan for the rural elderly. It is estimated that if such a plan existed, rural retirees would transfer their land to the younger, more productive generation. Moreover, it might serve to decrease migration of a young, capable workforce to the cities

China: In Rural China, River Turns Bitter and People Die (September 13, 2004)
Before the 1980’s and 90’s, the river was clean and the area had about 10 cancer cases a year. Since the recent industrialization, the water cannot be drunk, fish are dead, irrigation poisons the agricultural fields and the number of cancer cases is up to 400 a year. Rural young people abandon rural life for city jobs and leave behind the older persons to continue to produce food. The pollution of the Huai River embarrasses the Communist Party but the main polluter is Lianhua Gourmet Powder, the China's largest producer of monosodium glutamate and the area’s largest employer too. It seems that a Chinese city hold the majority of stock in the company. Can the society rein in the “economic miracle” that is literally killing Chinese poor rural people? What would Chairman Mao say?

China: China to Send Modern-Day "Barefoot Doctors" to Boost Rural Healthcare (August 2, 2004) 

The National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Health in China have used 230 million yuan (27.7 million dollars) to provide a mobile health service to rural residents reached by vehicles. Currently, rural residents enjoy only 30% of China’s health resources. The vehicles will bring medical personnel to central and western China, to help where access to hospitals is limited, to diagnose common diseases and to perform minor operations and health check-ups.

China: More than 400,000 elders in FuJian Province attend College for the Elders (May 27, 2004)

(Article in Chinese)
FuJian Province - YongLin did not drive to work. However he drives to school after his retirement. YongLin worked for Xi'Men Air Company and got his driver's license. After his retirement, he bought a car. Now driving to the College for the Elders with his wife has been an indispensable part of his life. In FuJian Province, there are few elders who have their own cars. But there are many elders who are going to College for the Elders. 

India: Medical Education to Be Revamped (May 25, 2004)
The new Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has ambitious plans to improve access to quality health care for persons living in rural areas. Majority of the population live in rural areas and have service delivery issues. In spite of this, the current medical education system is geared towards the urban population and must be revamped to focus on the rural population. Doctors in the new system will need to concentrate on issues affecting the rural population and senior citizens.

China: The Chinese saying - if Parents are Still Alive, the Next Generations Should not Live far from Parents. However the Farmer Labors who are Going to Work in the City Break the Traditional Family Structure. (March 22, 2004)
(Article in Chinese)
In China, there are about 100,000,000 farmers who left the countryside they grew up and went to the cities to work. Sociologists stated that farmers get better paid through going to the cities to work, however that their old parents in the countryside feel lonely and there are the decrease of labors in the farms. The Chinese saying - "if parents are still alive, the next generations should not live far from parents", depicts the rather stable family structure, which has been formed thousands years ago. However the traditional family structure is going through change.

France: Le Massif Central Tente de Résister au Vieillissement de sa Population (February 26, 2004)
(Article in French)
If the youth migration to urban centers continues, 38% of the population in the Massif Central Mountains could be over 60 by 2030. Cities and developed areas still look attractive to young people but rural areas don't. To limit this phenomenon, local authorities are finding ways to encourage young people to settle in the region. Taking care of older people at home in rural areas could be one opportunity for them.

China: The Fire in HaiNing Exposed a Blind Area in Caring for the Mental Health of Rural Elders (February 19, 2004)
(Article in Chinese)
The fire in WuFeng Village, Huang Wan Town, HaiNing, ZheJiang Province killed 40 persons. The fire, known as the Feb 15th fire, occurred in a grass (straw) temple. According to the article, older women often think that they have completed their main task in life when their children have grown up. They devote the remainder of their life praying for repentance for past mistakes, crowding in large numbers into grass temples at least seven times per year. The People's Daily News said, "the middle-aged and elder women in the rural areas are supporters of the grass temple, which brings up a question: who will take care of the mental health of rural elders?" The writer urges the government to come up with programs that engage older women in their present life and its possibilities for the future rather than think only of the past.

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