By Ikenna Osuoha
Abuja – Ms May Ikokwu, the Secretary General, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older People in Nigeria (COSROPIN) on Saturday decried the dearth of geriatric doctors in the country.
Geriatric doctors are medical practitioners specially trained to take care of older persons.
Ikokwu told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that services of geriatricians were imperative in a nation with changing demography like Nigeria.
She urged government at all levels to invest in mentorship and training of geriatric doctors for medical security of older people, especially in the rural areas.
She said “there is dearth of geriatric doctors in the country to take care of elders. Few of them are only found in cities, while majority of old people live in rural areas.
“The general practitioners and most caregivers are not trained to handle issues that affect the elderly and this is unacceptable for our country where the demography is changing rapidly.”
The COSROPIN scribe, who noted that there were over seven million older persons in Nigeria, called for improved healthcare for them.
Ikokwu stressed the need for government, caregivers and NGOs, as well as communities to help toward improving nutrition for the elderly, medical insurance, financial status, well as housing.
She reiterated call for speedy passage of COSROPIN Draft Bill for Older Persons, saying it would help to ameliorate the health challenges of older persons in the country.