…seeks citizens’ collaboration to protect aged population amid COVID-19
BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reassured elderly persons in the state of unlimited access to efficient, affordable and quality health services, noting that his administration is committed to catering for the preventive health care and medical needs of the elderly population.
The governor gave the assurance in commemoration of this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, with the theme, ‘Access to Justice,’ marked every June 15, by the United Nations and its sister organs.
Obaseki, who expressed worry over the fatal impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the aged population, urged citizens to continue to abide by all health and safety precautions to check the spread of the virus in order to protect the elderly, who account for over 50 percent of COVID-19-related deaths recorded in the state.
According to him, “Failure to address the health needs of the elderly today, including a sustainable health insurance to boost their access to quality healthcare delivery, could develop into a costly problem for us all tomorrow; that is why this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is important, to remind us all of the urgent need to increase stakeholders’ collaboration to ensure the provision of quality, affordable and efficient healthcare services for the elderly population, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”
He continued: “As a government that is concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of the aged population, we have undertaken and employed nuanced strategies and reforms, especially in the civil service, to ensure that elderly persons in the state no longer queue under the sun daily, lamenting over unpaid pensions and arrears, as they are now being paid as and when due.
“We are also determined to provide affordable and quality healthcare to our elderly population, which is why we launched the Edo State Health Insurance Scheme to cater for them and ensure unlimited access to affordable and quality healthcare delivery.”
Speaking on protecting the elderly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor noted that “as a government, we are resolute to ensure the protection of the state’s aged population, who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, as their lives matter so much to us. We must continue to comply with all preventive protocols against the spread of the virus, including wearing face masks, hand washing and practising physical distancing, to ensure the health and safety of our aged population.”