Government promises to cater for aged

The government has promised to pursue policies to improve the well-being of the elderly.

The policies, some of which are operational and others in the pipeline, include free rides on public transport systems, priority access to health services and banking services, and subsidised water and electricity tariffs.

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, announced this at a reception for more than 100 elderly people in the Keta municipality at Keta.

She presented the senior citizens with gifts made up of pieces of cloth, food and non-alcoholic beverages.

The event was the second after the one held in Accra, and would be held in nine other areas chosen for such donations, under a pilot project of assisting and caring for the aged in the country.

The minister said with the collapse of the traditional family care system, which hitherto protected its elderly, leaving them vulnerable, the government was ready to build a resolute safety net for their welfare.

She said her ministry was collaborating with other related agencies to draft a bill for parliament towards establishing the National Council on Ageing for the implementation of the national ageing policy, to address the dimensional issues on ageing.

“We are also working towards piloting an aged project of free services in transportation, health, electricity and water subsidies along the coastal belt,” she said.

The minister said training of geriatric health care professionals would soon start and relevant facilities put in place to mainstream geriatric care in the health care delivery system.

Nana Oye Lithur said an “Ageing Desk,’ to be established at the ministry, would be replicated in the local assemblies to address the concerns of the elderly.

She said the national health insurance scheme (NHIS) and the Livelihood Against Poverty (LEAP) were geared towards enhancing the lot of the aged.

Commending those who supported the ministry with the items for the aged, the minister appealed to the media to help highlight aged-related issues including policy programmes in the country.

Responding to a request by the Keta Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Sylvester Tornyeava, the minister announced that the LEAP coverage would be expanded, stipends would increase and beneficiaries would also be paid regularly.

Togbi Sri III, Awoamefia of Anlo, during a courtesy call on him by Nana Oye Lithur at his Anloga palace, commended the government for its programmes to support the aged.


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