The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment towards achieving the World Health Organisation (WHO) 2016-2020 road map targets and goals of the Global Strategy and Action Plan for Health and Ageing.
The minister, who was represented by the National Project Coordinator, Healthcare Package for Improving Quality care of the Ageing,(HEPI2Q-C ), Dr. Saidu Dumbuulwa, made the statement during the celebration of the 2018 Day of Older Persons /a one-day Project and Partnership Development Outreach Programme on Healthcare for the Aged, Social Security of Elderly and the Rights of the Senior Citizens in Abuja, recently.
Adewole said: “I am quite optimistic that given the current strong political will on the part of government, the targets as envisaged in the plan, will be attained and possibly surpassed.
“As you know, in our various cultures, the health and social care of the aged is a collective responsibility of every member of the family.’’
He stressed that it was, however, the responsibility of all to protect and ensure improve quality of health and welfare of the ageing population.
The minister pointed out that the ministry had made some progress in the on-going health sector response to the care of the aged, saying it had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some universities in the United Kingdom.
He further said that the ministry was open to other relevant organisations and partners in Nigeria ahead of the first national summit on healthy ageing, slated for the fourth quarter of 2018.
He noted that in the last decade, concerns for the ageing population had led to the introduction of new policies and programmes in which the social sector had taken the centre stage.
He said several policy framework documents, including national plans of action on ageing, had also been enacted, adding that the ministry was working hard to ensure that Nigeria was not left behind.
He thanked the International Federation on Ageing Nigeria (IFAN) and other organising partners for marking the 2018 International Day of Older Persons, a success.
He emphasised that the theme of this year`s celebration which was “Celebrating Older Human Right Champions”, was in line with federal government’s current efforts to address the needs of older persons in the country.
In his remarks, the Coordinator, International Federation on Ageing, Nigeria,(IFAN), Mr Ike Willie-Nwobu, said the programme would bring to fore, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Biscom Services and its huge human, physical and logistic operational infrastructure that would help enhanced elderly healthcare.
He also said IFAN would partner the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Ministry of Health, National Youth Service Corps and NAN.
Nwobu stressed that NAN was very strategic to the ministries involved and would be supportive in areas of mobilisation, advocacy, sensitisation, logistics, operation interface, documentation and research, among others.
He further added that IFAN were promoting retirees, pensioners and veterans’ resource centres in higher institutions across the country.