By Bukar Bolori
The National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency on achieving Integrated Care for Older Persons, Mainstreaming Geriatric Care and Geriatric Home Help into Primary care system in Nigeria.
This is the outcome of a two-day National Workshop on Integrated Care for Older Persons Organized by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency in collaboration with the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) with support from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Chairman forum of Executive Secretaries of State Primary Healthcare Development Agencies also endorsed the memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the States.
Director General of the National Senior Citizens Centre, Dr. Emem Omokaro said with the multi-partnership achieved, there will now be a robust and inclusive healthcare delivery model for senior citizens in Nigeria across the tiers of government.
Omokaro said the sustained demand on the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA) are to capture geriatric assessment and care for older persons, train primary health care workers on care for older people, provide sensitization on healthy lifestyle and nutrition for senior citizens and a technical working group on older people to be established for improved collaboration.
She said the National Primary Health Care Development Agency is central to the mandate of the National Senior Citizens Centre of bringing health care to the door steps of the people, including the senior citizens in all communities not minding where they reside mostly as a greater percentage of older people live in rural communities and hard to reach locations.
An official statement by the Head, Public Affairs, Media and Communication of the National Senior Citizens Centre, Mr. Omini Oden assured that renewed care for senior citizens is key to reducing morbidity rate in the country and in the front burner to be explored for the older people include control of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, testing for cancer, Alzheimer diseases and other complications.
The statement further said that the NSCC Director General is optimistic that attention for older persons’ healthcare needs in the communities by the NPHDA is better assured while also taking care of reproductive maternal newborn and child health concerns.
The statement recalled that the health and wellbeing of senior citizens have not really been in the forefront of health and social welfare intervention programs before now, giving kudos to the Federal Government under the current dispensation for reversing the trend by creating the National Senior Citizens Centre to bridge the gap.