Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Stakeholders seek more inclusion of elderly in govt. policies

Stakeholders have called for more inclusion of the elderly in government policies and programmes to enable them live well.

This was the take of stakeholders at an event to mark the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (commemorated on June 15) organized by Dave Omokaro Foundation in collaboration with Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, FCT Council in Abuja.

The convener of the programme, Dr Emem Omokaro, said that governments and all concerned actors need to design and carry out more effective prevention strategies and stronger laws and policies to address all aspects of elder abuse.

“Let us work together to optimize living conditions for older persons and enable them to make the greatest possible contribution to our world,” she said.

She noted that the most affected during the COVID19 pandemic were the elderly because they depend on others and this, she said, has exposed the inadequacies of social protection and measures which was minimal in number.

She also, however, commended the Nigerian government for providing palliatives for the elderly in COVID-19 era, saying that more needs to done.

Provision of social services such as income, security, health care, housing, and legal assistance can positively influence the well-being and health of the elderly.

The Chairman NUJ, FCT Council, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, emphasized the need to improve the living conditions of elderly persons in Nigeria:

“There is a need for an urgent policy engineering and re-focus on the issues of older persons. There is need take deliberate action to protect the aging population in Nigeria.

“Having set the ball rolling, we can do better as a Union to bring such issues to light.”

On his part, the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, called on everyone in the society to take responsibility for the elderly without any form of discrimination or abuse:

“Elder abuse is global and comes in many forms including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse and also neglect.

“Elderly people are human and deserve the same dignity and respect as people of all other age groups.

“The health of elderly people should be prioritized by government through including them in the National Health Insurance Scheme.”

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an initiative launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

 

The day is observed on June 15 with the goal to provide communities around the globe with an opportunity to get a better knowledge of abuse, danger and neglect of older people and what can be done to prevent it and what to do if it is spotted.

 

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