The Federal Government on Thursday said it would liaise with the Nigeria Governors Forum to ensure that aged persons, including lepers and persons living with HIV, get free and quality health-care services in the country. The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, disclosed the plan in Abuja at the 2nd national conference on ageing, organised by the Coalition of Societies of Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria with the theme, ‘Journey to age equality: The society and the older persons, the Nigerian perspective.”
He said, “Nigeria’s ageing population of 60 years and above is ever increasing, In the year 2009, the National Population Commission of Nigeria stated that there were 6,987,047 elderly people (60 years and above) in the country, which represented 4.98 per cent of the total population. In 2019, it is estimated that people over 60 years of age are about 15 million out of the 200 million.
“Nigeria has endorsed and is committed to achieving the goals and targets in the declaration of the Global Strategic Plan of Action on health and ageing 2016-2020 and committed also to 2020-2030 decade of healthy ageing with a view to achieving SDG 3. The Federal Government is committed to ensuring that free and affordable health-care services are available to our senior citizens as part of government’s social responsibility.”
He added, “The Ministry of Health will work with governors through the Nigeria’s Governors Forum to encourage the implementation of same in their respective states in a bid to achieve Universal Health Coverage. We will ensure that all neglected and stigmatised older persons such as lepers and those living with HIV/AIDs get free health-care services throughout the country.”