Accra, April 10, GNA - HelpAge Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, has called on stakeholders to incorporate the national scale-up plan on aging and health into the national healthcare strategic plan developed in August 2013.
In a statement signed by Madam Ethel Boakye, the Administration and Media Coordinator, HelpAge Ghana, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, stated that disease and drug coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme should be made more relevant to meet the healthcare needs of older people.
It said health impacted directly on the level and sustainability of economic growth, adding that “the capacity of people, including older people to earn a living and fully participate in cultural, family and community life is influenced to a large extent by their health status.”
The statement touched on the 2017 World Health Day commemorated on April 7 on the theme; Depression.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) defined depression "as illness characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities, for at least two weeks,” it stated.
According to the WHO, symptoms of depression included loss of energy, change in appetite, sleeping more or less, anxiety, reduced concentration, indecisiveness, restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, guilt or hopelessness and thoughts of self or suicide.
The statement said multiple social, psychological and biological factors determined a person’s mental health, “but the circumstances of many of our older people indicate an experience of isolation, loss of independence and loneliness.”
Contributory factors include bereavement due to the loss of a loved one, and drop in socioeconomic status and income with retirement.
HelpAge Ghana is a non-governmental, non-religious and non-profit making organisation established in 1988, with the mission to promote the wellbeing of older people in Ghana.
Its vision is for a society where older people live fulfilled dignified, active, healthy and secure lives.