Joining the rest of the world to mark the 2017 edition of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), a non-governmental organisation,Concern for Elders Initiative (CEI), recently, took its medical outreach programme to Idimu, a rural community in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, to celebrate with the elders of thecommunity.
The outreach programme aimed at giving a sense of belonging, empathy and show of love to elderly people vulnerable to different forms ofabuse and neglect from other members of the society, was the second by the organisation in the community.
Adopting a door-to-door method, the team visited patients in their houses, conducted tests and offered free drugs to them.
Speaking to THISDAY, President of the Initiative, Mr. Mathew Oruga, said its mission was to care for the elderly, promote their rights and well-being for a graceful and peaceful ageing in Nigeria, adding that the organisation was also fighting inequality in the family and society at large.
â€œOld age and ageism are both global phenomenon and a real challenge to all mankind, but the problems associated with ageism are worsened in many developing societies, especially in Africa. Today, the elderly are facing extreme hardship and poverty in a nation they have served and made contributions,â€ Oruga said.
He said all rights and respects of the elderly, both legal and natural, must be strictly adhered to, adding that, Nigeria as a nation must continue to check abuses and violation of their rights for a
Oruga noted that CEI as a group has observed that ageism has been on the rise in African societies for lack of awareness, poor planning, inadequate policies, as well as poor leadership from the government. He noted that only but a few talk about ageing issues often, without taking concrete steps to remedy the situation.
He said the continuous robust awareness campaigns, medical outreach and scheme for the elderly embarked upon by the Initiative in Idimu was impacting their lives positively. He explained that the resolve of the initiative to visit the community the second time was because of the warm reception accorded them, and the eagerness of the elderly people in the community to receive such charity services.