Dr Matthew Ibrahim, a Community Health expert, has appealed to the Federal Government to establish the approved Geriatric Centre for North-Central zone in Kogi to facilitate comprehensive medicare for the elderly in the region.
Ibrahim, who is also Coordinator, National Blood Transfusion Centre in Kogi, made the appeal while inaugurating a clinic for free medical treatment for retired Permanent Secretaries and aged persons on Wednesday in Lokoja.
The geriatric is a branch of medicine that deals with the problems and diseases of old age and ageing people in society.
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He noted that the establishment of the centre, especially in Lokoja, for aged persons in the North Central Zone would be most appropriate in view of the already established and running medical clinic for the aged in the state.
Ibrahim commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the establishment of geriatric centres in the six geopolitical zones in the country and that Kogi should be given priority in citing the centre in view of the existing clinic.
The physician explained that reports have revealed that 15 million Nigerians would become elderly persons by 2025 since all persons above the age of 60 years were classified in such category in developing nations.
He identified a lack of National Policy on Ageing and inadequate research as major challenges and stressed the need for the federal government to work towards actualising the set objectives of the centres.
The state coordinator enjoined relevant stakeholders, including the Kogi Government and other pressure groups, to key into the federal government initiative and encourage the cause of giving elderly persons a sense of belonging.
According to him, preventive health checks would enable elderly persons to enjoy longer lives through early detection and treatment of diseases, advising them to embrace regular medical check-up.
Ibrahim urged them to take advantage of the clinic holding at the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, every Friday, adding that the proposed geriatric centre will be of immense benefit to the people of the state and the region, as reported by NAN.