WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY 2024 : NSCC DG Lends Voice

STATEMENT BY NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS CENTRE (NSCC)

Today the world commemorates World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) which happens annually on June 15th. A day, officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution 66/127 December 2011.

It one day in the year when the world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on some of our older generations. The theme for 2024 is “Our Older Persons deserve our Respect and Attention- Spotlight on Older persons in Emergencies” 

In furtherance of this, National Senior Citizens Centre’s (NSCC) is marking the day with stakeholder engagement, sensitization, awareness creation and advocacy to stop abuse, negglect and violence against older persons.

The engagement mechanism and machinery are the 36 States and FCT Stakeholders Consultative Forums on Ageing. They are galvanized into diverse advocacy presentations in  commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. 

All States Stakeholders Consultative Forums on Ageing are composed of Major Stakeholders network groups -namely Older persons Associations; Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Civil Society organizations Community based organizations (in the diverse fields of works in health, gender, disability ageing agriculture), also Representatives of Traditional Institutions/Elders Council, Professionals in Ageing, Research and Academia, Private sector, Youth  and Media groups. The stakeholders Forum  work within  respective States in partnership with relevant Government Agencies to celebrate June 15 annually.

Director General of NSCC, Dr Emem Omokaro says advocacy groups should use the day to sensitize, enlighten, mobilize the citizenry to deploy their information, knowledge, network to prevent, remedy and redress abuse. Tools shared by NSCC include Capacity enhancement on subject matter,- available and strong nationwide  networks and resources of partners like NAPTIP structures of Call Centers and Toll free lines, services of NAPTIP Protection officers, Remedy and Prosecution Squad.

Also services of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria for access to legal representations and Justice; the National Human Rights Commission,  Ageing  desks across 36 States and FCT for Report, mediation and redress of Elder abuse situations.

NSCC also enjoys the strong partnership of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) across the country for medical outreach to vulnerable older persons and Elder Abuse identification, preventing and treatment.

NSCC is presently engaging Civil Society organizations in  Brain Health, Dementia and Alzheimers Care to explore collaborations to develop National Dementia Care  Strategic Plan.

NSCC welcomes nationwide support networks to change negative energies, stereotypes, prevalence of prejudices and discrimination against older persons. The theme Older Persons- “Deserve our Respect and Attention; Spotlight on older persons in emergencies is apt”.
NSCC pioneered the setting up of Ageing Desks in eleven (11) Internally Displaced Persons camps in Delta States partnering with SEMA and Red cross – it was the beginning of lessons to the stakeholders on peculiar situations and challenges of older persons- in emergencies, the challenges of mobility, health, safety and security in dire vulnerability.

Volunteerism, empathy, respect and attention are anchored on recognizing, acknowledging the qualities, value and continuing contributions of older persons- to family, community and the Nation. It is making a pledge to ourselves that they cannot be expended and to strengthen the protection of their human rights in all phases of emergency efforts.

It is worthy of note that the drivers of NSCC’s sustainable transformative interventions are the NSCC legal and policy Frameworks, the National plan of Action with clearly articulated project activities including present rolled out Geriatric Social Care Sector Skills Council, Training Providers and Centers and the Development of National Occupational Standards (NOS) levels 1-5, to train, assess and Certify caregivers to older persons.

Project activities also include development of National Benchmark and Minimum Standards for Accreditation of Domiciliary Care Agencies, Care facilities with Standard Operating Procedures. These are aimed to strengthen families with options for Quality Care, to provide skilled workforce with coordinated supervision and regulations.

Various sector wide programs – the one community one Senior Center initiative in partnership with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals to build ten senior centers in the first instance in ten states, are providing Agefriendly environment, enabling older persons to continue to contribute, where abuse are curtailed within communities.

Signed:

Omini Oden (ACPA, FCAI)
Head, Corporate Affairs, Media and Communications
15th June, 2024

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