An Abuja based Non-government organisation, Age-well Care Initiative (AWCI), is canvassing for introduction of house-to-house free medical scheme, to see to the health issues of older persons in rural areas.
Also, the NGO is proposing that there should be at least small units of health centres in villages that are remote in the FCT, so that older persons can get diagnosis and treatment as at when due.
According to the AWCI founder, Juliet Baron Agbor, the proposed initiatives would greatly help in promoting healthy aging elders in the society.
She spoke on the sideline of a round-table between Social Welfare officers with aged people in the Paipei community, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recently.
She noted that the aged are faced with myriad of problems ranging from transportation, absence of Medicare, portable water, physical and psychological issues.
Hear her: “Most old people in this community and other rural areas cannot afford transportation to even the nearest healthcare outlet for their medical checks and treatment and as a result, they are left uncared for, and no medical personnel to attend to them.
For this reason, we are canvassing for in-house visit by doctors to homes of the elderly people in the FCT.
If we can work together with doctors for us to have house to house visit, to see to the health issues of older persons, it will go a long way to help them live happier.
She continued: “Aside these, we are also proposing that there should be ageing recreation centres for every community that have at least 50 older persons resident.
They are going to act as referral points of socialisation and interaction for older persons.
It will also be a place where craftsmanship will be learned, so that older persons can benefit, as well as the society at large.
In similar vein, a council member of the community chief palace, Clifford Debiyat, also revealed older people in the area daily battle with serious challenges of health, high cost of transportation, abandonment, sexual harassments and otherwise.
He lamented the absence of primary healthcare facility to care for the health need of the estimated over four thousand people living in the community.
We at the palace level have been tackling some of such challenges as they come up. But we need government to help us, especially with a clinic,” he stressed.
He, however, thanked the NGO for always giving the older persons in the community the exposure and awareness that they need to live a happier live.
They have been providing us with free medical services, foodstuff and nutritional education,” the community leader explained.
Earlier, Acting Director, Social Welfare Department of FCT Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Mrs. Felicia Nwogu, who led other officials to the community, said that the FCT Administration was committed to supporting ageing members of the society.
Assuring older people of the continued assistance of the government, the Director urged them to always take advantage of available healthcare facilities and policies of government.
Our correspondent reports that August visitors interacted and distributed foodstuff to no fewer than thirty aged people who participated in the round-table discussion.