An appeal has been made by Dave Omokaro Foundation on Nigerians to pay greater attention to the plight of old people and take steps to alleviate their sufferings.
The Director of the foundation, Mrs Emem Omokaro, made the call today in Abuja on the sidelines of a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Women Affairs for the amendment of two bills.
The bills include the “Older Persons’ Rights and Priviledges Act, 2020” and “The Child’s Rights Act 2003’’.
Omakaro urged Nigerians to do away with the notion that elderly persons had nothing to contribute to the society.
“Older persons over the years have faced serious discrimination and it has become systemic.
“When I say the discrimination is systemic, I am saying that it is in the institutions.
It is in the lack of inclusion and inequality.
“We have the stereotype that older persons are spent and have nothing to contribute,” she said.
The founder called on government to initiate a social protection policy targeted at older persons.
“In Africa, we can create a long-term care system that is a hybrid where we have aging in the home, care in the home but we have a combination of medical, social and the community care.
“That is where our primary health care comes in to be modified to tackle geriatric management.
“We need to train community health workers so they integrate with the older person and when there is need for referral, then they can move to higher medical facilities,’’ she said.
Omakoro said that the bill was the first attempt to bring out Nigerian older persons in an effort to determine their rights and privileges.
She noted that the bill provided for some discounts for older persons in private hospitals whereas it wasn’t obtainable in Federal Government hospitals where most of the older persons are attended to.