The MTN Foundation on Monday partnered the Ark Foundation to provide free health screening for older persons as part of its contribution towards the commemoration of International Aged Day.

The health screening was part of the activities planned for the aged at the University of Ghana (UG) Centre for Ageing Studies as part of the day’s celebrated worldwide on the theme: “Celebrating Older Human Rights champions”.

Madam Cynthia Mills, the Economic Empowerment Advisor for the MTN Foundation, said MTN sponsored the health screening exercise because there was the need to provide support for the aged.

“They were those who cared for us when we were younger,” she said.

She noted that, the Foundation does a lot to support the aged in the community and that MTN Foundation regularly organised special programmes for the aged.

Madam Mills said: “This year, for lots of the festivals in the country that we’ve celebrated, we organise health screening specifically for the aged.

We also commenced an awareness creation campaign on the need to assist our elderly because they need us,” she added.

Speaking in interview with the Ghana News Agency, Professor Charles Mate-Kole, the Director of the Centre for Ageing Studies of the College of Humanities at the UG, said the centre, which was two years needed infrastructure support to aid its operations.

He urged Pastors who were fond of tagging the elderly as witches to desist from such action as it leads to the early demise of the elderly out of loneliness and challenged the young people to the initiative of visiting their elderly at least weekly or monthly.

Prof Mate-Kole said the Centre needed a lot of funds to continually organise research conferences, colloquiums, and workshops among others to help create more awareness among the Ghanaian populace on how to understand older persons as well as relate well with them.

He said there was the need to fight for older people’s right adding, older people who never worked in the public sector do not get any form of pension benefits to support themselves and if their children also forgot to give them some form of help, they are helpless.  

Rev Dr Samuel Ayete-Nyampong, a member of the Centre urged government to pay special attention to provide adequate assistance with older person because all persons were entitled to benefit from the national cake.

He said there was the need to share the national cake to reach the older persons through the establishment of facilities that would help in caring for the elderly and giving them free access to public facilities.

Resolution 45/106, passed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 14 1990, declared October 1st to be the International Day of Older Persons.



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