On this day people all over the world highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the issues and challenges of ageing in today’s world.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection joins the global voice today to congratulate all older persons in Ghana who in diverse ways have contributed to the growth and development of our country. We salute your hard work, commitment and dedication to Ghana.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Take a Stand Against Ageism. As a government we have indeed taken a stand. We are committed to strengthening systems and structures to improve the well being of older people.
The first step in the demonstration of our commitment is the establishment of a dedicated desk at the Ministry to address issues of older persons. We have also adopted the National Ageing Policy (NAP) with a goal to ensure that the socio-economic development and human rights of the aged persons are protected and guaranteed.
We are currently finalizing Aged Persons Bill to provide legally mandated systems which will ensure the effective operation and implementation of the structures and strategies aimed at achieving the rights, welfare and dignity of aged persons.
One of the key target groups under our social protection strategy are older persons. In this regard we have implemented various initiatives to promote their wellbeing.
Over 21,600 persons 65 years and above have been registered free of charge onto the National Health Insurance Scheme across the country. Currently, 7% percent of elderly persons without any means of support receive cash transfer to enhance their living conditions on the LEAP programme.
An innovation for the elderly which we introduced in 2013 is the “Eban” Elderly Welfare Card. Over 25,000 elderly persons in all the 10 Regions have been issued with the Eban Cards. Older Persons who we are registered on this card are given priority access to social services such as banks, transport operators, hospitals and other social services. They also receive 50% rebated on fares when they use Metro Mass Transit buses.
We assure all Ghanaians of government’s commitment to work assiduously to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of the aged, dignity and the wellbeing are achieved. In line with this, the Ministry will climax this year’s older persons celebration with an Ageing conference later in October, 2016.
HON. NANA OYE LITHUR
MINISTER FOR GENDER, CHILDREN
AND SOCIAL PROTECTION.