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‘Why senior citizens deserve better healthcare’

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A Medical expert has harped on the need for government to give to the elderly in the country, saying older persons in every society are the major consumers of healthcare.

Head of Geriatrics Unit and Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (DCMAC), University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Prof Obehi Akoria, made the call in Benin City at the weekend during activities to mark the International Day of Older Persons with the theme, ‘Caring for the Elderly: Lesson from the COVID-19 Pandemic’.

Akoria, who said the country’s healthcare systems are not designed to meet the special needs of older persons, noted that there is urgent need to improve their health and wellbeing by raising champions of elder- friendly healthcare, which UBTH is pioneering.

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He said only a small proportion of older persons, who require specialised care get to the geriatrics unit, noting that a large proportion of the patients that access care in most facility are elderly individuals.

Pointing out that there will always be the elderly seeking care in most of the teaching hospitals, Akoria said, “We need a bigger, purpose-built centre at UBTH to meet the healthcare demands of older persons.”

On his part, Chief Medical Director of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Prof. Darlington Obaseki, expressed concern over the health needs of the elderly particularly persons above the age of 60.

Obaseki expressed the hospital’s commitment to providing adequate care for older persons in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.Elders including a former national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun and persons above 60 years lauded the management of UBTH for the elder-friendly initiative in the area of state of the art medical facility and services through the coordinated effort of the hospital’s management team.

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