NGO urges government to implement National Ageing Policy

HelpAge Ghana (HAG), an NGO for the aged at the week-end appealed to government to accelerate implementation of the National Ageing Policy.

Miss Joanna Baddoo, Board Member of HAG who made the appeal, said the policy approved by Cabinet last year, had remained on the shelves without any sign of its implementation.

She noted that not much attention had been paid to the establishment of National Ageing Council to facilitate effective institutional coordination, national and international networks and cross-sectoral policy guidance on ageing issues from 2011.

“We cannot define who is an older person in Ghana legally,” she added.

Miss Baddoo made the appeal at a durbar organised by HAG to commemorate United Nations Day for Older Persons on the theme “Age Demands Action” in Accra.

International Day for Older Persons which falls on October 1, every year was instituted by UN General Assembly in 1990 to recognise and appreciate the contributions older persons made to their societies, and draw attention to the state of the well being of older persons.

Miss Baddoo who is also Treasurer of HAG said this year’s celebration was to create an opportunity for government to reflect on the performances of older persons as a nation in providing care and love for them.

She suggested that the Department of Social Welfare should be well resourced to reach out to more poor people under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Cash programme and assist in the payment of the 10 months arrears to the registered poor under the programme.

Miss Baddoo called on government to incorporate the health care of the aged into the national health care delivery system.

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare in an address read on his behalf commended the aged in the Ghanaian society for their immense contributions towards national development and acknowledged activities of HAG.

He said the Ministry was committed in ameliorating the living conditions of the aged by providing regular and emergency cash grant transfer under the LEAP programme to extremely poor and vulnerable old persons.

Mr Mensah said the National Social Protection Unit under the Ministry was working to link older persons to other existing social protection interventions to ensure that issues affecting them were resolved in a complementary manner.

He called on stakeholders to educate the general public on the need to establish and maintain inter-generational solidarity between the youth and elderly.

Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of UN in an address read on his behalf, noted that nearly two-thirds of older persons lived in developing countries yet they were not participating in national and global developmental agendas.

He said older persons were vibrant and essential contributors to the development and stability of society adding that more efforts were needed to utilise their potentials.

“At a time when the international community is preparing to take stock of sustainable development and is looking to forge a development agenda for the future, it is important the needs and contributions of older persons are recognised,” he added.

Mr Ban called on world leaders to provide more opportunities for their ageing populations.

Source: GNA

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