Stakeholders advocate policy-driven interventions to improve health outcome for aged Nigerians

Stakeholders in the healthcare value chain in Nigeria are calling for a policy-driven interventions targeted at the elderly to improve their quality of life and health outcomes status.

They stated this during Gerocare Solutions Ltd’s fifth anniversary held on Friday 2 September at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, noting that maternal, child and adolescent health had taken the centre stage in many health interventions, and that it was time to include the elderly in alignment with SDG-3 which advocated good health for all ages.

Ajibola Meraiyebu, co-founder, Gerocare Solutions, stated that Nigeria’s healthcare system had neglected the elderly in policies and programmes that could enhance their health.

According to hom, the country’s health insurance scheme ended at a certain age and thereafter the aged Nigerians were left at their own mercy. “I’m not saying this because of Gerocare; but the fact is that we will all age and when we get to that age, we will wonder why we didn’t have strong policies to address this gap.

“The National Health Insurance Act (NHIA) is working on evolving policies and plans that will target the elderly, however, this is expensive,” he said.

Meraiyebu states further that health insurance is considered expensive in Nigeria because it is curative, hence Gerocare is leading advicacy for preventive care to detect threats to health of the early and take care of it.

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He equally advised the government to embrace the use of technology to reach more people, and disclosed that the company was able to reach over 29,000 people in the last five years
through its homecare service; while over 115, 000 elderly persons through its various outreach programmes.

Aderemi Adebowale, the special adviser to the Lagos state governor on civic engagement, restated the government’s commitment to improving the care of the elderly in the state.

Represented by Olaide Ibrahim, director of admin and human resources, office of civic engagement, Adebowale said that healthcare promotion and improvement remained a priority of the state government.

Ebi Ofrey, co-founder, Gerocare, said the company provides an affordable and easily accessible means for the elderly to receive regular home visits by a medical doctor in any city in Nigeria.

Ofrey noted that this was done to assist the elderly to maintain a healthy state, prevent health deterioration as they grow older and improve their quality of life.

Ofrey stressed that promoting preventive healthcare was critical to treating over 80 per cent of health-related cases.

Similarly, Oladotun Olakanle, the Chairman of Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area, commended Gerocare for its strides in improving the health of the elderly.

Olakanle stated that the company through its health outreach programmes had impacted and improved the health of 150 elderly persons in his council area.