As the world marks International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) , the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has advocated expedited action on the passage of the National Aging Bill (NAB).
The commission said eight years after the state declared its intention to formulate a law to beef up human rights, health and wellbeing of the aged, it was yet to finalise the bill and present to parliament for consideration.
“ Some stakeholders have described the delay in the passage of the bill into law as a development that has worsened the vulnerability of the aged ”, a statement issued by Joseph Whittal, the CHRAJ Commissioner in Accra yesterday, said.
Designated in 1990 by the United Nations, IDOP is commemorated on October 1 every year, to deliberate and increase efforts to protect the human rights of older persons across the world.
This year’s edition, marking 30 years of the commemoration of the day, is on the theme; “Pandemic: Do they change how we address age and ageing?” and is focused on making a case for the wellbeing of the aged to be upheld.
It is estimated that there were 703 million persons aged 65 and above in the world as of last year with the number of older persons projected to reach two billion by 2050.
According to CHRAJ, the National Aging Bill was to strengthen legislation started through a draft National Ageing Policy in 2003 which was reviewed in 2010 into a national ageing policy, to uphold the rights of older persons.
The policy, the statement said, provided for older persons were to be fully entitled to preventive and curative care including rehabilitation and sexual care which they were often denied.
“10 years after the NAP, the state is yet to ensure that the health care needs of older persons are comprehensively addressed by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)”, it said.
CHRAJ stated that physiotherapy management of Parkinson’s diseases and dementia, which were more prevalent among older persons above 60 years, didn’t have most medications for such conditions included in the NHIS drug policy.
“The commission notes that over the years some progress have been made in advancing the rights of older persons in Ghana and recognising the important role they play, more needs to be done.” it said.