Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Minister of State, Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, has said the Federal Government is committed to free and affordable healthcare services for aged citizens.
He also said government would ensure all neglected and stigmatised older persons such as lepers and those living with HIV/AIDs, receive free healthcare services across the Country.
Mamora stated this during the Second National Conference on ageing in Abuja, yesterday.
The minister noted that Nigeria’s ageing population of 60 years and above is ever increasing, saying in the year 2009, the National Population Commission estimated the population of elderly people who were 60 years and above at 6,987,047 which represented 4.98 percent of the total population.
Mamora also said in 2019, it is estimated that people over 60 years of age were about 15 million out of the 200 million populations, which is equivalent to the population of three to five small African countries.
He further said it was also estimated that thousands of the older persons die every year from chronic diseases that can be prevented or controlled to achieve healthy and productive lives.
The minister, however, said the development was not acceptable, disclosing that the government has established a Healthcare Package for Improving Quality of Care of the Ageing Population (HEPIQ-C Project) in the ministry aimed at addressing the healthcare issues of the ageing population in Nigeria.
Mamora said it will be inaugurating the newly formed National Research Committee on Healthy Ageing for the Older persons in the Country early next month.
“Federal Government is committed to ensuring free and affordable healthcare services are available to our senior citizens as part of government’s social responsibility, hence the implementation of healthcare for the aged programme and utilisation of basic health care provision fund to procure health insurance for the senior citizens at the state level through the NHIS gateway,” Mamora said.