Society for Public Health and Social Development in collaboration with the Awkuzu Medical Team under the guidance of His Royal Highness (HRH) Igwe Sir (Prof.) Charles Anikweze Nnamenyi III Igwe Awkuzu on 28th December organized a medical outreach aimed at identifying the elders in the Awkuzu community in Oyi local government area of Anambra State, Nigeria with health problems focusing on non- communicable diseases such as hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, visual problems and rheumatoid arthritis. Up to 300 people aged 80 years and above were reached.
The whole purpose of this event was to reach out and assist the elderly (≥80years) in the community in their health and improve health seeking behaviours for them and their care givers as well as honouring them for their various contributions to the community.
There is a rapid rise in the numbers of people aged 60 years and above. There were about 1 billion people from 60 years and more in 2019 and the number is estimated to rise to 1.4 billion in 2030 and up to 2.1 billion by th3 year 2050 with most of them being in developing countries (WHO, 2021). Thus there is every need to begin creating an environment that will make life easier for this ageing population in the aspect of health and social care, accommodation setting and transportation.
Following the COMAAND project, this is another means of providing accessible, affordable and continuous health services, quickly identifying and preventing complications of common NCDs plaguing the community and setting a framework that will promote active and healthy ageing. This is in keeping with the “Decade of Healthy Aging 2021 -2030”, declared by the United Nations General Assembly and will also seek to focus on the four action areas of the decade for the elderly which include: changing our mentality, behavior and attitude towards old age, creating age-friendly environments that promote the abilities of the elderly, providing person centered integrated care and health services for the elderly and ensuring that long term care is available and accessible for old people who need it (Pan American Organization, 2021)
For the community as a whole and for the youths in particular, this will serve as a means for Voluntary health care services, ensuring efficient care for the elders, create a social support system also for the elders which can be extended to others in the society thereby fostering continuity and encouraging more persons to be more in charge of their health.
Pan American Health Organization (2021) The Decade of Healthy Aging 2020 – 2030. Available at: https://www.paho.org/en/decade-healthy-aging-2020-2030 (Accessed 18 January 2021).
World Health Organization (2021) Ageing. Available at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/ageing#tab=tab_1 (Accesses 18 January 2021)