By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has commended Abia Government for initiating free home healthcare programme for elderly people in the state.
The minister said this on Wednesday during the inauguration of “Free Home Health Service for Elderly People” programme in Umuahia.
Represented by Dr Chuku Abali, the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Adewole said that the health challenges and constraints experienced in old age could be better managed through improved accessibility and affordability of healthcare services.
He said “for Abia Government to deem it necessary to do more for this category of people, it is commendable and we shall explore areas of assistance and buy into this scheme.”
He urged the state government to set up a monitoring mechanism that would ensure that the programme was successfully executed and sustained.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia said the decision to initiate the programme was informed by the state government’s commitment to improve the wellbeing of the elderly.
Ikpeazu said the scheme was designed to provide healthcare services for people above 70 years in their homes, adding that meeting the health needs of the aged was capable of improving the state’s
“I call on people to volunteer and make contributions to the success of the programme to care for the needy in our society,’’ he said.
Chief Emenike Osondu, the Administrator of Tender Loving Care Home Health Services, said that the state government had invested over N200 million into the programme for elderly people with healthcare necessities.
Osondu said no fewer than 1,000 qualified health practitioners and experts in health-related fields would be engaged for the programme to facilitate the smooth execution of the project.
In his remarks, Mr Augustine Alaribe, an octogenarian, said the initiative was a welcome development, adding that there was need to evolve strategies to sustain it.
Alaribe said people ought to imbibe the culture of spending more on providing quality healthcare for elderly people and spending less on their burial.
The programme would be used to provide nursing care, monitoring of nutrition and hydration status, catheter care, diabetes care and therapy.