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Don seeks free medical care for aged persons

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Don seeks free medical care for aged persons

Prof. Funmi Togonu-Bickersteth of the Department of Psychology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has urged the Federal Government to grant free health insurance to aged persons in the society.


The don made this appeal on the sideline of the international training programme in Gerontology and Geriatics organised by the Dave Omokaro Africa Institute on Ageing and Development (DOFRIAD) at UNIABUJA on Monday in Abuja.

According to her, government health-care intervention for aged persons will reduce poverty, dependency on the family of the older persons, as well as allay their fears of health challenges and expenses.

“Old age illnesses are chronic and expensive to manage. So older people need some sort of health insurance. It may be totally free health insurance for them or subsidised NHIS.

“This means that if the children have something to pay, they can pay because by the time the older person needs health care, the adult child is also facing other challenges of raising children.

“So the burden of health care should not fall totally on the adult children, if not, you are increasing poverty.

“Therefore, for the older people, it is either the government gives them health coverage or institute legally, some subsidised NHIS for them.

” In this way, we can all go into our old age, knowing that we will not spend whatever we have saved on maintaining our health, ’’ he said.

The don also called for the implementation of health policies that would support and increase life expectancy, as well as a baseline data to enable governmeny monitor and evaluate the impact of the policies.

“Government should collect baseline data of old people so that we know who they are, where they are, what the issues are and it should be updated from time to time.

“Also, government should back up these provisions legally, so that it will not be possible for a governor to start something and another one will come and suspend it’’.

She called on the government and stakeholders to engage in massive public enlightenment on geriatrics, lifestyles and aging culture, which would reduce cases of sexual and physical abuse including street begging by the aged persons.

Auta Justina: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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