Today January 23, 2022

COVID-19: health rights, well-being of older persons affected

Accra,- Professor Mavis Darko-Gyeke, Director, Centre for Ageing Studies (CFAS), University of Ghana (UG), says the COVID-19 pandemic has restrained the movement, rights and well-being of older persons.

She said older persons had contributed so much to the development of the country, however, over the years, while some had been neglected, the events of the pandemic had worsened the woes of others.

“Those who have family are visited and supported while others who do not have are neglected to their fate and this becomes disturbing,” Prof. Darko Gyeke said on Tuesday when CFAS donated to 110 older persons ahead of the Christmas festivities.

They were presented with half piece of cloth for the women, three yards for the men; rice; oil, spaghetti, corned beef, toiletries and hand sanitisers

She said the donation which was done by the centre was to primarily put smiles on the faces of the aged whether they had somebody or not.

“This year we decided to go very big because of the COVID-19 that had made people face some challenges so we thought to come in to help them.

“We cannot give them everything that they need but their widow’s mite that will put a smile on their face we thought will go a long way that is why we are doing this for them,” she said.

The collaborative initiative was done with stakeholders like; Ghana Oil Company; Three Hills Company Limited; DOT Pharmacy a vita Pharmaceuticals; Tatiana Adem Aglobitse MD, Lincoln and Aytes Enterprises.

The rest being individuals are; Dr. Phyllis Darko-Gyeke, School of Public Health, UG, Mr. Godwin Avetse; a representative from Erata Hotel; Madam Charity Amanoo; Alhaji Sule and Walk with Pearls.

Prof. Darko-Gyeke called on the public to come on board to help the aged and also use the centre as a channel to reach them adding that, “This pandemic can be suppressed but only in so far as people act in solidarity with each other and take steps to protect and care for those most at risk.”

Going into the New Year, she said currently the centre was running training programmes for the aged, but CFAS was hoping to expand the coverage measuring the impact of COVID-19.

Dr. Akosua Agyemang, Chair for the Outreach Committee Programme, said the exercise which was done yearly on 1 October, in commemoration of the United Nations (UN) International Day of older persons, formed part of the Centre’s bonding essence with the aged.

She said, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic this year’s could not take place.

“During the UN Day of older persons, we connect to have fitness, dancing and medical screening but since Covid 19 did not allow us this year, we decided to tune the energy towards our annual Christmas donation exercise of sharing items and food from our stakeholders we work with,” Dr. Agyemang said.

The UN Day of Older Persons is celebrated to promote the human rights of older people worldwide and, this year’s, fêted the continued importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it turned 70.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the UN General Assembly that enshrines the rights and freedoms of all human beings.

It was accepted by the General Assembly as Resolution 217 during its third session on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. Of the 58 members of the UN at the time, 48 voted in favour, none against, eight abstained and two did not vote.

The 2021 theme for this year’s UN Day of Older Persons which was “Digital Equality for all Ages,” offered an important chance to expand opportunities across generations for the benefit of society as a whole.

Dr. Agyemang noted that a lot of the older persons were benefiting from the annual engagements.

Among the 110 aged beneficiaries who received the items were selected from the Samuel Amo Tobbin Foundation; Nero-Aged Care; Aged Welfare Foundation; UG Retirees; Ma Mere Nursing; 50 and Counting SDA Adentan Group and individual older persons.

Madam Janet Yirenkyi, UG Retiree, thanked the Centre and its partners for the benevolence that had over the years strengthened them.

The Centre for Ageing Studies focuses solely on ageing-related research and education. It also spearheads research, advocacy and policies within the limit of traditional upbringing and development, purposely towards the welfare of the aged.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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