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12.12.2005 Regional News

Foundation urges government to pass a policy on the aged

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Apinkra (Ash), Dec. 12, GNA - Compassion Africa Aged Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has asked the Government as a matter of urgency to put in place a national ageing policy. The Foundation said this had become necessary in view of the fact that the aged were being marginalized in terms of free medical attention particularly those in the informal sector.

Reverend Francis Addo-Nyardu, President of the foundation, who made the call, said while the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) had 60 years for pensioners to benefit, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) pegged the aged at 70 years. He said based on the NHIS, people who had attained 60 years and did not work in the formal sector would therefore, not enjoy free medical services under the scheme. Rev. Addo-Nyardu was speaking at the presentation of free medical supplies to the aged in some selected communities within the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma district in the Ashanti Region. They included Jachie, Apinkra, Adagya and Feyiase. He said it was important that the Government took the issue of the aged seriously since the number of the aged was increasing rapidly in the society just like the increase in children population.

Mr Song Jacob Zurobire, Project Officer of Help Age Ghana (HAG), appealed to the Government to take the issue of the aged seriously. He noted that the most disadvantaged aged in the society were those living within the rural farming communities. Mr Zurobire therefore, asked the Government to pass the National Ageing Bill that had been before Cabinet since 2003. Madam Felicia Marboah, Director of Health Services of the Foundation, said the aged who were in the past cherished and adored had now been neglected and some had become paupers. She wondered what had become of the family support for the aged that kept families together and called on Ghanaians especially the present generation not to leave the aged to their fate.

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