Ghana’s Elderly Cry Over Neglect Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Ghana’s elderly population is accusing the government of neglect as the county grapples with increasing cases of the coronavirus.
Globally the aged face the greatest risk of contracting the deadly virus due to their weak immune system and underlying medical conditions.
As of March 2020, the fatality rate for COVID-19 for the elderly stood at 15 percent.
This called for special attention and strategies especially for countries which have recorded higher cases of the deadly virus.
The same cannot be said about Ghana which has one of the high populations of the aged in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ghana has about 7.2 percent of its 29 Million population attaining the age of 60 years.
The Ghana Statistical Service projects that Ghana’s elderly population will increase to 2.5 Million by 2025.
With continued campaigns to reduce fertility and mortality, it is expected that Ghana’s aged population will rise to 6.4 Million by 2050.
Elderly seeking for inclusion
88-year-old Nuhu Bukari lives in the Accra suburb of Achimota.
He told Africa Feeds that he has been confined to his home for the past month in order not to contract the virus.
Bukari, however, said government has not done anything to assist people like him although they are vulnerable and face the greatest risk.
“So far the government is only assisting kayayei (head porters) with meals and other things. But no one is thinking about us. I am not happy about it” he lamented.
His claims have been corroborated by NGO Help Age Ghana which protects the welfare of the aged.
Executive Director, Ebenezer Adjetey Sorsey said the exclusion of the aged in the social intervention programmes indicates that the country is ill-prepared to deal with the pandemic.
“The aged need education on COVID- 19 to protect themselves. They also need information especially those who have children in worst-affected countries because they are living in fear.
And then they also lack the basic necessities to cope with the restrictions. It only shows that we are not prepared as a country ” he said.
Ghana has recorded 214 cases of coronavirus as of April 5, 2020.
Originally published on GhanaWeb and can be accessed here.