In a bid to meet the needs of the under privileged, particularly the Elderly and remotely positioned members of the society to afford them equal, dynamic and quality Community services, the National Senior Citizens Center (NSCC) is seeking a collaboration with the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency in organizing welfare services including medical services to cater to the needs of the senior citizens in the state.
The State Coordinator of NSCC, Rev. Dr Mercy Akpama made the call in Calabar during a courtesy visit to the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong in her office.
Dr Akpama said, among other objectives to be realized, the planned collaboration is in tune with the core values and objectives of the group and to help mobilize and facilitate the agency’s social duties to the old, vulnerable and nearly out of reach Communities across the state.
According to her, the program seeks to address neglects of the elderly in certain communities and to end age long practices of discrimination of the elderly who are sometimes branded as witches. She said the intervention will be across several LGAs in the State and it is said to be a complimentary effort by all to improve the health and wellness of the vulnerable group especially the aged people in the society, whom she feels have not been prioritized in the society compared to how women and children are given top priority.
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In her response, the Director General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong appreciated the team for the visit and expressed delight in the innovative gesture towards embracing the elderly.
According to her, the victimization of the elderly in the society these days is calling for concerns, noting that the State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade through various agencies and ministries of government has over the years, made provisional supplies and policies to address perceived abandonments with the most recent being their free enrollment into the state’s social Healthcare scheme “Ayadecare”, through the Basic Health care programme.
She noted that the state Primary Healthcare Agency has always been in contact with the aged, vulnerable and under privileged fraction of the society through its regular community health outreach programs covering sensitization, distribution of both medical and other welfare materials along free medical services.
She further noted that with the introduction of the “hope for the hopeless program” by the NSCC, it will help pave way for more attention to be paid to the elderly assuring them that the Primary Healthcare Development Agency will lend it’s support at all times for the actualization of the set goals.
Also speaking, Mrs. Ekaette Ekpenyong (Programme Officer, BHCPF), SPHCDA, intimated that there is an already programme which the PHCDA is currently engaged which has to do with Male Involvement services and Basic Health care programme to render Health care services to everyone in the society.
Mrs. Joy Chabo (Director, Disease Control and Immunization, CRSPHCDA), stated that there is no programme without the involvement of the elderly members in the society, adding that there is Community Engagement services at the community level which also aid in creating impact on everyone in the society.