Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ageing with a Smile Initiative Launched

Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Babucarr Gaye officially launch the organisation, “Ageing with a Smile Initiative” (ASI) in The Gambia, over the weekend at the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC).
In his statement, the Dr Babucarr Gaye said that the elderly is the world’s fastest growing population group and unfortunately among the poorest. He stressed that we must meet the needs of the older persons who are alive today, as well as that of the elderly in the near feature.
“We should not underestimate the role that elderly people play, culturally and traditionally in our societies. The truth is that older people make innumerable contributions to their families, societies and economies that must be honored,” he said.
According to him, societies all over the world are currently engaged in the process of preparing for the challenge of the coming years, with The Gambia being no exception. “The absence of material deprivation for older people is a fundamental precondition for an active later life, but equally important are social integration, equal rights and access to adequate health care and long-term care,” he said.
Dr Gaye noted that the Department of Social Welfare is aware of that, for the welfare of the older persons to be fully realized, there is the need for family and community-based care should be encouraged as it does provide an opportunity to reweave the social fabric and promote intergeneration inter-dependency, including skills and cultural transfers.
He revealed that his ministry has already put in place long-term plans to address issues that that affects elderly persons directly, as in the form of free provision of needy aids and rehabilitation services; relief assistance to needy old persons and the introduction of day care and residential facilities.
“Access to adequate health care and social services is an integral part of life and an essential precondition for a productive and active ageing,” he said.
He also remarked: “my Ministry is very concerned for the welfare of the aged and is developing systems to improve the treatment of age-related diseases to help enhance the well-being of older persons he promises.”
The Lord Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council, Yankuba Colley on his part commended the Organisation, ‘Ageing with a Smile Initiative’ for their vision, while promising an unflinching support and partnership with the organisation in their endeavours. VOL:2 ISSN:16


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