In a significant development, Salma Anas-Ibrahim, the Senior Special Adviser on Health to President Bola Tinubu, highlighted the ambitious health agenda pursued by the President.
Anas-Ibrahim stated that the renewed hope health agenda is committed to providing coverage to over 50 million Nigerians, including the most vulnerable populations, within the next four years.
She emphasized that this commitment extends to elderly individuals, ensuring that they are not left behind in this initiative.
Anas-Ibrahim conveyed these intentions during her keynote address at the National Healthy Ageing Summit held in Abuja.
Expressing optimism, she emphasized the feasibility of this goal.
She asserted that tapping into the potential of younger generations and harnessing contributions from all sectors could drive national development and socio-economic growth for Nigeria.
Universal Health Care and Support for the Elderly
The President’s Special Adviser elaborated on the details of the health agenda.
She reiterated the commitment to achieve universal health care coverage, encompassing the well-being of the elderly population.
Anas-Ibrahim stressed that inclusivity is a cornerstone of this initiative; no one, regardless of age, would be overlooked or excluded.
Drawing attention to the unique needs of the elderly, Anas-Ibrahim underscored the importance of addressing not only medical requirements but also social and psychological needs.
She pointed out the necessity to safeguard older individuals from long-term care challenges, abuse, and discrimination.
Despite these issues often going unspoken within communities, Anas-Ibrahim asserted that the administration is attentive to the voices of the elderly and aims to rectify these challenges.
Alarming Demographic Shifts and Calls for Action
Dr. Walter Mulombo, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Nigeria, provided a global perspective on the aging population.
He noted that the number of individuals aged 65 or over reached 703 million in 2019 and is projected to exceed 1.5 billion by 2050.
While significant growth is projected in various regions, sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, is expected to experience a substantial increase in the elderly population.
Mulombo highlighted the pressing need for action in Nigeria due to its growing elderly population.
With approximately 14.8 million individuals aged 60 years and above, the nation cannot ignore the challenges associated with aging.
He urged the Nigerian Government to display strong leadership and invest in human capital development to address these issues effectively.
A Holistic Approach to Healthy Ageing
Dr. Mulombo advocated for a comprehensive approach to healthy aging.
He called for a better understanding of the needs of older individuals and the strengthening of health and long-term care systems, particularly within communities.
Aligning with the Primary Health Care (PHC) system approach, he emphasized the importance of incorporating the recommendations from the recent PHC summit.
Furthermore, Dr. Mulombo stressed the significance of capacity-building, evidence-based guidance, and collaboration with stakeholders to drive innovation and improvements in service provision for older individuals.
He underscored the need for data-driven decision-making and coordination to ensure a holistic and integrated approach to addressing the challenges of an aging population.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn