We Will Accelerate Social Inclusion of Older Persons – NSCC
Abuja – The Director-General, National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), Dr. Emem Omokaro, on Tuesday, said the center would continue to seek ways to accelerate the social inclusion of older persons in the development agenda.
Omokaro made this known in Abuja during the center’s two-day national stakeholders workshop on integrated care of older persons with the theme: “Realigning and strengthening institutional capacity for delivery of integrated care for older persons’’.
According to her, the development agenda, specifically in the strategic initiatives, programmes, services, and budget lines of relevant ministries, departments, and agencies to ensure the improvement of the quality of life and well-being of senior citizens.
She said that the senior citizens enhanced participation, dignity and happiness must be through structured partnership.
Omokaro said the centers’ quest to see a functional, available, accessible, appropriate, affordable, and acceptable primary health infrastructure and ecosystem at the national level was the aim of the workshop.
The D-G also highlighted what the center sought to achieve at the end of the workshop.
“Participants at the national workshop include executive secretaries of the state primary healthcare development agencies, and chairmen of state primary healthcare development agencies.
“Zonal coordinators, state primary healthcare development agencies, stakeholders of care providers, and older persons themselves.
“As the theme says “Realigning and strengthening institutional capacity for delivery of integrated care for older persons’’, what we seek to achieve is to, first of all, identify the baseline, which is already those things that are in existence that we can build on in the primary care.
“And what are those initiatives and innovations that we can bring in, what capacity is needed to strengthen in terms of human resources, in terms of infrastructure, in terms of logistics and coordination that will indeed put older persons also central in the provision of primary care.
“It will also bring geriatric care promotion and then will synergies between the primary care and family care because they are under a family care and because they are in the community.’’
Hajia Sadiya Umar- Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster, Management, and Social Development said it was very heartening to see that the national development plan of 2021 to 2025, with its strategic social inclusion pillar, was the focal concern of the ministry.
The minister, who was represented by Alhaji Musa Bungudu, the Special Adviser to the President on Humanitarian Affairs added that the policy documents presented the guiding objectives and drivers of programmatic actions to promote the social inclusion of older persons.
She said that the programmatic actions would further help in the development, promotion, and protection of their rights to access quality care at all levels.
“ They are currently over 14.8 million Nigerians who are 60 years and above, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. With the rapidly increasing proportion and absolute numbers of older persons in Nigeria, despite the country’s youthful population. They are increasing gaps in the provision of health and social needs of older persons, both at the national and sub-national levels.
“I understand that the objective of these two days national workshop is to access the status of inclusion of older persons in primary care services and to consider and strategize ways of realigning and strengthening institutional capacity for delivery of integrated care for older persons.’’
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director /Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), represented by Dr Chris Elemuwa, acting Director Community Healthcare services NPHCDA, commended every participant for the collaborative role they were playing for the elderly.
“As we all know, it is actually part of the agency’s mandate but for one or two things it has been a neglected area, and we are pleased to have this collaboration today with the National Senior Citizen Centre and WHO, who has come to reawaken us today to that consciousness.
“ I like to assure you that NPHCDA is committed to this collaboration, we know quite alright that care for the elderly is a sine qua non and should be everybody’s concern because we will all get old one day.’’
Dr. Walter Kazadi-Mulombo, the Head of Mission and WHO representative in Nigeria, who was represented by Dr. Bosede Ezekwe, the Technical Officer of Reproductive Health, thanked the ministry, NPHCDA, and NSCC for organizing the event.
The WHO representative in Nigeria also thanked the Federal Government and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development for creating the centre to look after the elderly in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day national stakeholder’s workshop was organized by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) in collaboration with the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) with support from World Health Organisation (WHO )Nigeria Office. (NAN/vital news)