More than three out of 10 old people in Morocco who require medical exams are unable to visit hospitals out of fear of COVID-19, a recent study from Morocco’s High Commission for Planning (HCP) announced.
The report showed that 38.2% of old people in Morocco needed medical checkups during the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, from April to June.
Out of this category, 44% were unable to visit doctors, including 30.7% who were too afraid of contracting the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, 26.9% were unable to go see the doctor because of financial difficulties, and 21.6% because of the lack of available transportation.
HCP announced the figures on October 1 in commemoration of the International Day for Older Persons.
The study tackled the physical and psychological health risks that faced Morocco’s elderly during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The report shed light on several challenges from which old people in Morocco are currently suffering despite the partial lockdown lifting, including poverty, isolation, and discrimination.
Morocco currently counts nearly 4.1 million inhabitants aged 60 and over. One of the main challenges facing this segment of the population is chronic illnesses.
According to HCP, over 63% of Morocco’s elderly, or 2.57 million people, suffer from a chronic disease. Their preexisting health conditions put them at the highest risk of developing complicated COVID-19 symptoms.
Besides physical health risks, old people in Morocco suffered from several psychological issues during the period of the pandemic that HCP evaluated. According to the study, 43.4% of Morocco’s elderly suffered from anxiety, 37.6% from fear, 23.8% from obsessive behaviors, and 20.1% from sleep disorders.
The main reasons behind these symptoms include isolation, loss of revenue, lack of information, and boredom, HCP found.