Government to offer free bus ride for the aged
Government in collaboration with stakeholders, has initiated steps to institute free-bus-ride in the public transport system for the aged by 2014.
The initiative to be championed by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) forms part of Government’s commitment towards the elderly.
This was made known by Mrs Benita Okity Duah, Deputy Minister, MGCSP, during the 2013 celebration of the UN Day for Older Persons in Accra on Tuesday.
The Day which was marked by HelpAge Ghana, an NGO, was on the theme: “The Future We Want: What Older People are saying.”
She noted that the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Health had initiated steps aimed at mainstreaming geriatric training for health professional to address health care issues of the elderly.
“The Ministry is also seriously considering the possibility of developing and implementing a social pension scheme for older persons in the informal sector to help address issues of poverty in old age,” she added.
Mrs Duah said the Ministry, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has begun the process of drafting a bill to facilitate the establishment of the National Council on Ageing as provided by the National Ageing Policy to ensure the implementation of the policy.
“In addition, the Ministry has initiated action to review the Policy Implementation Action Plan with key stakeholders in order to include emerging issues and to reflect the realities of issues facing elderly persons,” she said.
Mr Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey, Executive Director, HelpAge Ghana, said the celebration was aimed at creating the opportunity for Government, civil society organisations and individuals to reflect on their performance as far as the aged are concerned.
“Help Age Ghana is commemorating this Day with over 55 other countries across the globe to demand specific action by stakeholders as far as the aged is involved,” he said.
As part of the celebration, members of HelpAge Ghana organised a walk, which took them through some of the principal streets of Accra.
Some of their placards read: “Ageing, how prepared are you”, “What is Ghana’s plan for the aged”, and “He who does not honour age, does not age.”
In 1990 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed October 1 as the International Day for Older Persons in recognition of the contributions that older persons make to their societies, and to draw attention to the challenges and opportunities they face.