HelpAge calls for ageing policy in Ghana

old-manHelpAge Ghana has called on Government to put in place structures to start the implementation of the National Ageing policy and  Action Plan.

It specifically mentioned the establishment of the proposed National Council on Ageing.

It also urged the government to revert to its initial active role in the United Nations Opened-Ended Working Group on ageing in spite of the pressures being put on developing countries to selfishly ignore the initiative.

A statement issued by Mr Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey, Executive Director of HelpAge Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday observed that the world is ageing very rapidly and any further delays by Ghana to put in place the necessary structures to address ageing challenges could result in undesirable consequences in the near future.

It said Sub-Saharan Africa; including Ghana is experiencing the most rapid increase in ageing population but has a relatively shorter time to respond to this demographic trend, compared to what transpires in the developed world.

“Our population and Housing Censuses are giving clear indications that even though the population is presently youthful in nature, it is ageing at a very fast rate as well as increasing ratio of the elderly to children; increasing median age and life expectancy.

“We must not see older persons as recipients of welfare and as a burden on society, rather as contributors to the development of the nation.

“They also have a right to a dignified life. The time to act as individuals and as a nation is now,” the statement said.

It noted that this year’s Older Person’s Day is being celebrated on the theme: “Age Demands Action.”

It said the relevance of the theme is linked to the snail-pace at which Ghana is addressing the challenges older persons face in their daily lives and not limited to healthcare, right and income security.

The statement said Ghana should take advantage of the many opportunities presented to her by the ageing population.

It said the 1992 Republican Constitution, Articles 37 (2) (b) and 37 (6) (b) makes specific demands on the state to protect and promote the rights of older persons as well as to provide them with social assistance to enable them maintain a decent standard of living.

“Yes, a few notable national actions have taken place over the years to address some of the challenges…, but these are woefully inadequate.

“These include the approval of the yet-to-be implemented National Ageing Policy by Cabinet in October 2010 and its launch in December 2011 by the then Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, and the inclusion of poor older persons who are 65 years and above as beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty  Cash Transfer Programme,” it said.

The statement said even though the average life expectancy for Ghana is about 62 years, the authorities had interestingly pegged the age of exemption from the payment of premium under the National Health Insurance for older persons at 70 years and above.

“Helpage Ghana takes this opportunity to thank and salute all Ghanaian older persons for their immensurable contributions towards the development of the family, community and the nation at large,” it said.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.