The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said the federal government and the Birmingham City University, United Kingdom, are partnering to provide health care package and a safety net for the aged population in the country.
Adewole disclosed this yesterday in Abuja when a three-man delegation from the university led by Prof.Hafiz Khan paid him a courtesy visit to present a proposal on how to improve quality care for the aged population.
He said: “When you look at our population profile, we are a population of about 70 percent youth and 30 percent elderly, so when we look at the aged, we are planning for the future.’’
The minister noted that as Nigeria increases in population, definitely, the aged population would increase as a result of the demographic transition, adding that Nigeria needs to look at the issue of the elderly in the context of our social system.
“We have a strong social system where the family looks at the aged, but these are bound to collapse as our population expands,” he added.
Adewole said the government was committed to advancing the course of the elderly so that they would not feel neglected, noting that aged people are susceptible to non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes and cancer.
To this end, he said the Ministry of Health was collaborating with the university to prepare a health package to improve quality care for the aged in the country as well as capacity building for health professionals and strengthening of disease control and prevention and healthy ageing population.
He assured the delegation that the federal government would support the concept. “We will support it to make it work. We need to have a policy framework, and we need to have a strategic development plan that to drive this concept to fruition,” he stated.
Earlier, Khan explained that the intent of the concept was to improve access to health of the aged population, adding that at the moment, ageing is a global issue, hence taking care of the elderly is of paramount importance. He said: “We should act now before it is too late.”
Also speaking, the Project Coordinator, Health Package for Improving Quality Care on Ageing Population and Diseases in Nigeria (HEPIQ-C), Dr. Saidu Ahmed Dumbulwa, said the aim of the project was in tandem with the mandate of the government health policy of this current administration.