The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) stands in solidarity with older persons globally as the world of marks International Day of Older Persons.
The day was introduced by the United Nations (UN) in 1990, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century.
This year, 2020 marks its 30th anniversary on the theme, “Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?”
In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency and signed by Mr Joseph Waittal, Commissioner, CHRAJ said the global theme for the year’s celebration was apposite and resonated with the mandate of the Commission in the protection and promotion of the human rights of all persons in Ghana including; especially older persons.
It said the theme highlighted the role of the healthcare workforce to the wellbeing of older persons with special recognition of the role of the nursing profession, who were relatively undervalued and in most cases inadequately compensated.
It added that the theme was consistent with goal 3 of The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which seeks to “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages, particularly target 3.8 which aims to achieve universal health coverage including; financial risk protection, access to quality essential healthcare services and access to safe effective quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
It said 10 years after the National Ageing Policy (NAP) was indicated, the State was yet to ensure that their healthcare needs were addressed by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“Physiotherapy management of Parkinson’s disease and dementia, which were more prevalent among older persons (60+ years), and most medications for such conditions were not included in the NHIS drug policy,” it said.
It however noted that over the years, some progress was made to advance their rights in Ghana and recognize the important role they play.
It called on stakeholders to give much attention to their special health needs and contributions to their health and to the functioning of their societies; increase awareness and appreciation of the role of healthcare workforce in maintaining and improving their health.
It said understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on older persons, called for deliberate healthcare policy and service delivery interventions to minimize the effects and future pandemics on them.
The Commission further called on government to speed up processes to complete the ongoing stakeholder consultations on the National Ageing Bill and same laid before Parliament; await the passage of the National Ageing Bill into law, the Commission called on the State to do more to uphold the rights of older persons within the meaning of the NAP, the Constitution and international instruments.