The President of Geriatrics Association Nigeria (GAN), Prof. Usman Ahmed, has made it known that there are only seven geriatricians in Nigeria.
This is an inadequate number considering the 9million aged person to cater for in the country.
A Geriatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and disability in older adults.
Ahmed told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that the population of older persons was growing exponentially, noting that Africa would bear more older persons by the year 2050 in spite of the high population of youths in the region.
He revealed that there are over nine million older persons who are 60 years and above in Nigeria.
According to the GAN president “Nigeria does not have adequate medical doctors or any type of healthcare professionals who can handle cases associated to old age.
“There are only seven of us, which is highly inadequate to the population of aged people in the country.”
He said that ageing started even before we were born.
He commented that if government attended to maternal health adequately, it was already solving some later issues of ageing.
“I am surprise that in this country when people reach the age of 60 years, they are not being provided health insurance by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“The only respect and gratitude we could show for the elderly was to ensure that they had free and unhindered access to healthcare; free and unhindered access to better living arrangements.”
Ahmed said that government and development partners need to improve the livelihood for pensioners whether they worked in public sector, private or an informal sector.
He said “people should not be retiring and not having their pensions regularly as it happening throughout the country.’’
According to him, it was shameful that there was no concrete programme to cater for older people who have contributed to the development of the country.