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April 20, 2024

WHD: Group advocates increased care for older persons

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By Ikenna Osuoha

Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), an Abuja based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called for increased medical care for older persons in Nigeria.

Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer of the group made the call in commemoration of the World Health Day while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.

Commenting on the theme: “Health for All,” Ikokwu stressed the need to guarantee health equity and equality for older persons, irrespective of their social or work classes.

She said that it was time for practical implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by including older persons.

“Ageing population will have an impact on the ambition of universal health coverage.

“Because without considering the health and social care needs of the ever-increasing numbers of older people, UHC will be impossible to achieve,” she said.

The Culture Advocate said: “Equally, SDG 3, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, cannot be met without transforming health and social systems”.

She called for a paradigm shift from a focus only on disease towards the provision of the integrated and person-centred care that should be known to have the greatest impact on functional ability in older age.

According to her, the transformation requires organising services to respond to older people’s diverse levels of physical and mental capacities as well as their needs and preferences.

“Others include extending coverage of services to all older people.

She said this, “particularly those who have been in the informal workforce or who have filled caregiving roles, have very limited access to even basic services.”

Ikokwu reiterated the call for development of sustainable financing mechanisms.

She said it was imperative to protect older people and their families from undue financial burdens.

She said that it would go a long way in providing system incentives for the provision of the services older people needed.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the aim of World Health Day is to create awareness among people about the value of good health.

World Health Day is celebrated across the world on April 7 annually. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Idris Abdulrahman

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