Gender ministry registers 500 aged under NHIS in U/East

BY: Alhandu Abdul-Hamid

Five hundred elderly people in the Upper East Region have been signed onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

They were also presented with some quantities of rice, cooking oil, soap and half pieces of wax prints.



The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, said 10,000 elderly people had so far been registered under the programme.

The programme that has been extended to prisoners, has seen 6,000 inmates of the Nsawam, Koforidua, Ankaful and Sekondi prisons also benefiting from the free registration exercise.

She explained that the ministry was concerned about the health of the senior citizens and that it was for this reason that it celebrated the United Nations Day for the elderly with a health walk and screening exercise.

According to the minister, last year, the ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Denmark to provide geriatric care services in Ghana.

Under the agreement, some of the healthcare needs of the elderly will be addressed.

"I am happy to inform you that a technical team will soon present an implementation plan of the MoU for consideration. The agreement will result in financial and technical support for geriatric education by incorperating geriatrics into the main stream nursing and medical curriculum in Ghana".

 Welfare initiative

Nana Oye Lithur said the ministry had begun a nationwide rollout of the EBAN Elderly Welfare cards.

So far,9,526 elderly people in the Central, Western, Volta, Eastern and Greater Accra Regions have been issued with the cards

The card enables elderly people to get priority access to banking halls, hospitals and 50 per cent rebate of services provided by the Metro Mass Transit buses.

The minister said a greater percentage of beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) were made up of the elderly.

In the Upper East Region for instance, 4,070 households, representing 37 per cent of total beneficiaries in the region, are elderly persons.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr James Zuuga Tiiga, said the challenges of the aged in Ghana were gradually becoming social problems which needed to be addressed.