The Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry on Wednesday this week feted about six hundred aged people from all the electoral areas of Cape Coast and Agona East Constituencies in the Central Region.
The occasion which saw the Cape Coast Town Hall parked to capacity by the aged, amidst live band music, was part of the gender ministry’s annual donation to the elderly aimed to bring some smiles to their faces after they have toiled and sacrificed for the nation.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection was assisted by her two deputies, Della Sowah and John Ackon, as well as the deputy Central Regional Minister, Queenstar Pokuah Sawyer to present some awards to deserving elders in the region.
Speaking at the ceremony, Nana Oye stated that the 1992 Constitution makes comprehensive provisions that guarantee the fundamental rights and liberties of the elderly.
“It further prohibits abuse and requires the state to enforce the Constitution through the enactment of statute and adoption and implementation of relevant socio-economic and cultural policies. These are meant to safeguard their rights, freedom and welfare”, she said.
In fulfilment of theses constitutional requirements, Nana Oye said Ghana has implemented some policies and interventions aimed at enhancing the status of the elderly.
“An example of these is the adoption of the National Policy on Ageing with some specific interventions to promote the welfare of the elderly”, she stated.
Nana Oye said the establishment of the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry in 2013 is a demonstration of the commitment of the Government of President John Dramani Mahama to consolidate these gains.
“This re-alignment of the Ministry among other things is to ensure mainstreaming of issues of elderly persons into the developmental agenda”, she said.
Nana Oye added that as the government machinery mandated to ensure the empowerment of the vulnerable, excluded, aged and persons with disability through the use of social protection and other interventions, her ministry views the initiative as their obligation towards achieving that overarching national development.
She announced that the drafting instruments for the ageing Bill have been finalised, adding that the ministry is reviewing the Policy implementation Action Plan with key stakeholders in order to include emerging issues and to reflect the realities of issues facing the elderly persons.
Again, Nana Oye said an “Ageing Desk” has been established at the Ministry to address issues affecting the elderly.
She reiterated that the ministry together with the National Health Insurance has registered over 3,650 aged persons above 65 years out of a targeted 10,000 on the National Health Insurance Scheme database in two short months last year.
She mentioned the launch of the “Eban Elderly Welfare Card” which will enable the aged priority access in banking halls and hospitals and 50 percent rebate on Metro Mass Transport and the issuing of 1,200 of the cards to the elderly in Greater Accra on a pilot basis.
Nana Oye said her ministry in collaboration with that of Health and Ghana Health Service has initiated the process to mainstream geriatric care in the health care delivery system in the country.
The Livelihood against Poverty (LEAP), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the National Pension Scheme, the Minister pointed are some of the social protection programmes aimed to improve the social and economic development of the elderly.
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