The Society of Family Physicians of Ghana (SOFPOG), has urged the government to prioritise age-related diseases and place their medications on the essential drug list to make treatment freely available to patients under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The call was made on Wednesday, 7 August 2019, during a workshop on Parkinson’s disease organised by SOFPOG for a broad spectrum of health workers and support organisations at the Golden Tulip Kumasi City.
President of SOFPOG, Dr Emmanuel Ati, stressed that : “The journey of a patient with Parkinson’s disease is full of anxiety, uncertainty and is very stressful and would require all hands on deck to ensure their journey is bearable.”
He explained that many of the neurodegenerative disorders affect mostly the aged or the ageing and pointed out that with life expectancy improvement, the aged population will also increase in the coming years hence the need to pay attention to such conditions and be armed with the knowledge that helps make life more tolerable for them.
“Aging is a sensitive stage of life. The Ghana 2010 Population and Housing Census recorded that 1.2 million Ghanaians are aged 65 years and above. As life expectancy in Ghana has improved to 63.74 years, the aged population is bound to increase in the coming years. These individuals have extensive knowledge, values and priceless experience that younger generations could tap from to have a positive impact on the country’s development,” he added.
He, therefore, called on the general public, government, corporate organisations, support groups, research groups, and NGOs especially those with the interest in the care of patients with neurodegenerative disorders to partner SOFPOG to make life comfortable and enjoyable for these senior citizens whose sweat and toil have brought this nation thus far.”
Many of the participants at the workshop were excited at the new insight acquired and promised to pay more attention to Parkinson’s disease in their consulting rooms.
Participants also pledged support for people with the condition and praised SOFPOG for putting together such a workshop.