The Executive Director, Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF), Dr Emem Omokaro, has called for strengthening of family, community and traditional structures to ensure holistic care for older persons in Nigeria.
Omokaro made the call at the closing of a five-day training programme on gerontology and geriatrics on Friday in Abuja.
The training, jointly organised by DOF and the International Institute on Ageing, United Nations (INUA), drew participants from across the medical, social work, human rights and other related disciplines.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the exercise witnessed awards of certificates to 35 participants and recognition awards to five former trainees referred to as alumni.
Omokaro said that the training, which he described as intense, was aimed at tackling issues of ageing and associated challenges.
She added that the training also afforded participants the opportunity to share knowledge on population, ageing and their implications on the society.
“This training has been so intensive and interactive and it is my belief that it will generate a comprehensive report on ageing in Nigeria.
“It is aimed at catalysing and deepening policy dialogue on specific issues of aligning health systems to the needs of the older population.
“We need to strengthen the family structure; the community structure and the traditional structure so that care for older persons will be holistic,” she said, adding “our people deserve to age in peace.”
Prof. Marvin Famosa, the Director of INUA, said that the training was designed to discuss the implications of population ageing and how to include ageing issues in Nigeria’s and Africa’s development plan.
He said that discussions during the training was also aimed at providing broad and up-to-date understanding of the complex and far-reaching consequences of mass longevity.
Among the alumni award recipients was Chinenye Offor of News Agency of Nigeria for her contributions toward active reportage of the foundation’s activities on how best to take care of the aged.
Offor thanked the foundation for the award, saying “I am happy that the foundation recognised my efforts.”