…As Seagreen Pharma partners OOUTH to offer free screening
Some university dons and medical experts have appealed to the federal government and stakeholders in the country to establish more old people’s home for ageing and elderly persons with a view to addressing their current plights as well as come up with policies that will support them in the society.
The experts include: Prof. Bolanle Fatuga, dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Sagamu Campus; Prof. Adewale Sule-Odu, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, OOUTH; Dr Olubukola Jeminusi, a lecturer in the department of Community Medicine, OOUTH, among others.
Speaking at a community health outreach organised at the Palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, to kick off this year’s Faculty of Clinical Sciences Week, Dr Jeminusi, in his lecture titled “The Care of the Elderly” added that aside the establishment of old people’s home and recreation centres to care for their needs, social and economic policies should equally be put in place to support the capabilities, wellbeing and autonomy of older persons.
He said Nigeria’s ageing population of 65 years and above is gradually decreasing, adding that there are roughly 6 million elderly people (65 years and above) in the country, which represented 3 per cent of the total population. “According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) data, around 54.5 years of age is the average life expectancy of Nigerians” which is quite worrisome, Jeminusi said.
Speaking further, the university don listed challenges such as lack of affordable healthcare provision, lack of household help, weakness, arthritis, failing vision, hearing problem, low libido, challenge with bone density, memory loss and wrinkles as some of the challenges associated with ageing.
He added that healthcare is the greatest physical need for the elderly because when they are healthy, they need far less basic support. “Aside healthcare need, what we could do for the elderly is to treat them with respect and shower them with lots of love and affection and support in every way possible so that they can lead a normal life too,” he said.
“By getting the right healthcare services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. At your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices, what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke, and other important factors impact what and how often you need healthcare and how healthy you will be,” he advised.
While receiving the experts in his palace, the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi appreciated them for paying a courtesy visit on him, as well as their good gestures in bringing the health awareness advocacy to his domain, in order to enlighten his chiefs and offer free medical screening to them.
Oba Adewale further expressed his delight in the free medical screening conducted for the Akarigbo –In- Council, adding that the exercise would greatly help to prevent illnesses and promote longer, healthier life. “It is good when one is aware of his or her health status and I am happy that this is happening in my domain” he said.
Speaking further, the referred monarch however promised to work closely with the university community when necessary, adding that traditional institutions are meant to play fatherly role in the society.
Also speaking, the spokesperson for the Akarigbo-In-Council, Chief Adeyemi Salami, Lisa of Ofin, Sagamu, said they were delighted that that the experts thought it wise to come to their domain with such a laudable programme, adding that government should do more than it is doing presently to care for the elderly and ageing.
“The elderly and ageing in the country deserve cares from both government and general public because ageing is not an emergency situation or an accident, but a transitory period of maturation, a process that every human being prays to go through,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the duo of Prof. Fatuga and Prof. Sule-Odu noted that the programme was part of the faculty’s community effort at reaching out to the people for the purpose of rendering community service.
The scholars added that the medical outreach was part of the programmes lined up to mark this year’s Faculty Week, adding that their functions in the university comprises of both teaching, consulting and community service, which is the main reason for the health outreach.
“Health outreach is important because Nigeria is undergoing epidemiological disease transition and we found out that a lot of people are coming down with chronic disease conditions and health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and other silent killer diseases, so this awareness is very important and we are happy we have done it,” Fatuga said.
For the Head, Sales and Marketing, Seagreen Pharmaceutical Limited, Mr Adelodun Adeniyi Wasiu, disclosed that as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), Seagreen is committed to enhancing the health and wellness status of the Nigerian society, adding that the company long to see a Nigeria where everyone has access to basic essential medicines regardless of their socio-economic status.
Speaking on the rationale behind the partnership with OOUTH, he said the company decided to organise the medical outreach and free screening exercise to give back to the community and to promote healthy living among Nigerians, adding that regular health screening is good as it involves checking patients’ current health status and risks.