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04.11.2008 Politics

Make Provision For Elderly In Manifestos

The National President of Help Age Ghana, Professor Nana Araba Apt, has called on political parties to make provision for the elderly in their manifestos to help address the poor conditions they currently face.

During an interaction with some political parties in Accra, Prof Apt said the poor conditions that older persons faced in Ghana today had been an age-old phenomenon, which successive governments had failed to resolve.

She made it clear that she had read the manifestos of some of the political parties but was surprised she could not see anything that focused on older persons.

Quoting the 1992 constitution, which called for the promotion and protection of all other basic human rights and freedoms including the right of the disabled, the aged, children and other vulnerable groups, she said, governments must stop paying lip service to the issue of older persons and attend to the welfare of that segment of the society.

Prof Apt said that older persons must not be treated as kids because they were not and called for a collaboration with Help Age to tackle the issues concerning the elderly.

She said, instead of society providing for the social needs of the older persons, they had become victims of circumstances.

This, she said, was denting the image of older people who had worked hard over the years to make the country what it is today.

Whiles urging individuals, especially the young ones, to begin to prepare for their old age, she tasked the family, community, and the nation to enact appropriate laws to assure the protection and promotion of the basic rights and freedoms of the aged.

Mr John Amekah of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) said that it was sad that older persons in society were not benefiting from their efforts in building this nation.

“If the DFP comes to power, the party would review discriminating laws and practices that were not favourable to the aged in the society” he said.

Mr Amekah said his party would make the provision of basic health services, accommodation, and education a priority of the government to make sure that older persons live in dignity.

Mr Charles Eninful of the Convention People Party (CPP) said when voted into power the party would put in place the right structures that would take care of the older persons in the community, “We will make everything possible to promote the total well being of older persons”.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, representing the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said the new pension scheme was a demonstration of the willingness of the government to provide for the elderly

“When voted into power we will promote other pension schemes such as the cocoa farmers scheme” he added.

Mrs Joanna Badu, the chairperson for the occasion, said the purpose of the meeting was to assist older persons in the country to make informed choices during the presidential and parliamentary elections.

The seminar was aimed at creating a platform for political parties which had launched their manifestos for the up coming elections to explain to older people and other stakeholders how the document would address issues affecting older people in the country she added.

Story by MacLiberty Misrowoda