This year’s International Day of Older Persons was on Saturday held in Accra.
The event organised by the Centre for Ageing Studies of the University of Ghana was on the theme “Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World.”
The over 1000 older persons from all walks of life were offered free medical screening, free food and sensitised on lifestyles that would keep them fit and strong.
They were screened for Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) infections, Memory stability, cataract, diets and nutrition as well as physical structure and stability.
Dr Frank Dzifa Kpesenu of the Healthy Ageing Programme of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) told the Ghanaian Times that the time had come for the country to have an Ageing Bill to consolidate activities of the aged in the country.
According to him, ageing was not the doing of the individual, but a passage of time which formed part of life, hence the need for a document to serve as a guide for their handling by the state, family and society.
“The rights of the aged must be consolidated, everything including their social welfare, health, rights and responsibilities, the role of government and the citizenry for the care of the aged must be documented to serve as a guide for future generations,” he added.
The bill, Dr Kpesenu said had been hanging since 2018 and further delays could hamper planned activities of the GHS to address most health care needs of the aged to prolong their lives, through comprehensive health care policies.
The bill, he stated would also serve as a guide for stakeholders and advocates of the aged in order to regulate and streamline their activities to avoid abuses and excesses that could affect the people they were helping, adding that“the bill would make government take responsibility for certain aspects of care for the aged.”
Rev Prof Akye Essuman of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, urged the aged not to travel long distances to seek medical care in Accra as almost all regional and district hospitals were offering the same services at places closer to them.
He urged them to constantly renew their National Health Insurance Cards in order to benefit from the free medical care offered by the service.
The Executive Director of Samuel AmoTobbin Foundation, Mrs Harriet Nortinson Asante, said Tobinco Group partnered the event by offering free medical care for the aged while referrals were also directed to special hospitals free-of-charge.
She urged the aged to have quality time for themselves, live healthy lifestyles, undertake regular exercises and have enough rest as well as attend checkups every month.
Mrs Ansah charged the youth to push the country’s law makers to hasten the passage of the Ageing Bill because they would one day become the sole beneficiaries.
Director, Centre of Ageing, Prof Mavis Dako-Gyeke, commended all whose efforts ensured a successful event and urged the aged to take good care of themselves as their health and wellbeing was paramount to the centre and the society.
BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU