HEALTH

Experts Call For Inclusion of Older Persons in Health Policies_Ada Nkong

The need for policies and legislation to protect the rights of older persons have been emphasized.
The CEO Dave Omokaro Foundation, Dr .Emem Omokaro stressed this while addressing graduants of the international training program in gerontology and geriatrics organized in collaboration with the International Institute on Ageing, United Nations- Malta(INIA).
Outlining the challenges faced by persons over 60, Dr. Omokaro listed financial issues due to loss or lack of income, lack of primary healthcare and non friendly environments as chief among the things that limit older persons from ageing resiliently.
Geriatricians at the training, shed light on the health challenges associated with ageing, especially dementia. They listed the factors inhibiting the care of elderly persons in Nigeria as the absence of national policy on ageing, the lack of in-depth training in care of older persons and the dearth of awareness in geriatrics.

While Dr Chris Piwuna harped on the need for emotional support by relatives in addition to expert care especially for those needing long term care, Dr Osi- Ogbu admonished all not to give up on older persons. She also called on older persons to view changes in health associated with age as their new normal state.
The Geriatricians lamented the absence of adequate primary care for the elderly and urged the government to follow global trends and emulate countries like Sweden to put in place health care provisions and build capacity in the area of health care for older persons.
Partipants thanked the DOF institute for the opportunity and pledged to become advocates for the rights of older persons. They expressed surprise at the opportunities available if the experience and capacity of older persons is tapped into.

While participants were issued certificates, awards were given to an alumni and faculties who had distinguished themselves in the advocacy for the rights of older persons.
Statistics show that the number of persons living above 60 is increase globally as life expectancy has increased.it is expected that by 2025 about 11.4 million people in Nigeria will be above the age of 60.

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