HelpAge Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has called on government to fulfill its promises of improving the quality of life of elderly persons in the country, by ensuring that Parliament enacts the Age Bill into law.
According to the NGO, there was the urgent need for the legislature to pass the bill into law, to deal with challenges facing elderly persons in the country, which include inadequate healthcare and income insecurity that sometimes culminated into poverty and deprivation.
The call was made in a statement signed by the Executive Director of HelpAge Ghana, Mr Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey, to commemorate the International Day for Older Persons, observed globally, on October 1.
The day seeks to recognise and appreciate the varied contribution made to the growth and development of the elderly.
The statement noted the National Ageing Policy, which took almost 14 years to be approved by Cabinet, in 2010, was yet to be passed into law by Parliament.
It said, although the Age Bill was listed on the agenda of Parliament on January 29, 2019, for consideration, nothing of that sort happened.
The NGO explained that the bill if passed into law would legally define who an older person is, promote and protect specified rights of older persons and establish a National Council for the Aged.
The statement said the National Council for the Aged would among other issues, develop national interventions as well as coordinate actions under the National Ageing Policy by stakeholders, to improve the quality of life for older persons.
“The signing of the African Union (AU) Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Right on the Right of Older Persons in Africa, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2017, by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, gave the hope that we will experience significant activities aimed at improving the quality of life of older persons in Ghana, but alas it has not happened,” the NGO noted.
It said Ghanaians could not continue to regard older persons as recipients of welfare, because “they are holders of rights like all other citizens.”
The statement stated that the 1992 Constitution had made specific demands on the state to protect and promote the rights of older persons and provide them with social assistance to enable them live and maintain decent standard of living.
BY TIMES REPORTER