Access to Information and Implications for Healthy Ageing in Africa: Challenges and Strategies for Public Libraries

« The elderly people are of intrinsic value to societies. Their health is Africa’s wealth. Unfortunately, Africa has serious health burden raging from diseases, poverty ignorance that hardly support healthy ageing. Development indicators from World Health Organization and the World Bank provide glaring evidence that Africa countries are far behind other regions of the world in health conditions of the citizens. This paper discusses the benefits that accrue from having a healthy old age population. Such includes poverty reduction, stress free ageing, assisting in taking care of young ones. It examines the role of information in enhancing healthy ageing in Africa. The paper identified public libraries as very important institutions to take up the challenges of provision of adequate and timely health information for the elderly citizen in Africa. While it acknowledges the challenges public libraries in many African countries face, it also provided strategies the libraries could adopt to perform this onerous task. Several recommendations were made; namely, adequate funding of public libraries, employment of librarians with translations skills, ICT application in public libraries, among others. The paper concludes that African countries should reposition their public libraries to facilitate the provision of relevant information that would support healthy ageing. »