United Nations General Assembly Resolution (45/106) of 14th December 1990, designates 1st of October as the International Day for Older Persons, while the year 1999 was declared the International Year of Older Persons.
The year 2020 is significant in a number of ways, firstly this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons and secondly, the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, thirdly, the year has been recognized as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”. The 2020 observance will promote the “Decade of Healthy Ageing” (2020-2030), but sadly the year 2020 recorded the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic which broke out in December 2019. Furthermore, 1st October 2020 marks the 60th Independence Anniversary of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The 2020 theme of this year’s International Day of Older Persons aims to:
- Inform participants about the strategic objectives for the “Decade of Healthy Ageing”.
- Raise awareness of special health needs of older persons and of their contribution to their own health and to the functioning of societies in which they live.
- Increase awareness and appreciation of the role of the health care workforce in maintaining and improving the health of older persons with special attention to the nursing profession.
- Present proposals for reducing the health disparities between older persons in the developed and developing countries so as to “Leave no one behind”.
- Increase understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on older persons and the impact on health care policy, planning and attitudes.
“The Decade of Healthy Ageing” (2020-2030) and “The COVID-19 Pandemic”
“Healthy Ageing” is the process of developing and maintaining functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age. “Functional Ability” is having the capabilities that enable all people to be and to do what they have reason to value.
Over the next 30years the number of older persons worldwide will double with estimates and projections placing the number at 1.5 billion by 2050, with 80 percent living in low/middle income countries.
This population increase of older persons is projected to occur in Eastern and South Asia with 261 million in 2019 to 573 million in 2050. The fastest increase in this demography is expected in North Africa and Western Asia with 29 million in 2019 and 96 million in 2050, the second fastest increase projected is in sub-Saharan Africa where population of citizens aged 65 years or over grew from 32 million in 2019 to 101m in 2050 an increase of 218 percent.
Ironically, this rapid increase in persons of 65 years and above is expected to take place in the least developed countries, a growth from 37 million in 2019 to 120 million in 2050 an increase of 225 percent.
The Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030) is an opportunity for governments and non-government organisations, civil societies, international agencies, professionals and the private sector for action and collaborative efforts to improve the lives of older persons, families and communities. This decade of concerted effort towards the objectives has become imperative as populations age at a faster pace, this demographic transition will undoubtedly have an impact on all aspects of society.
It becomes ever so critical in countries defined within the high growth geographical zones, where development in these countries have failed to meet rapid population shifts and worsened by the rampant infections of the COVID-19.
DAGOMO Foundation is committed and positioned to provide the needed interventions in supporting all stakeholders and participants local and foreign with the vision of providing quality care for older and aged persons. Adopting the significance of International Days DAGOMO Foundation on this day has chosen this medium to enlighten the public on issues of national and global concern, while creating the necessary awareness. DAGOMO Foundation is building support and support apparatus towards mobilizing essential resources to address this escalating problem. NOW is the time for our nation to concretize steps taken towards the care of older citizens by ensuring elder care policies and legislation that holistically address the aged and the ageing populace are enacted.
While congratulating the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 60th Independence Anniversary, we invite all to engage with us at the DAGOMO Foundation as we remain resolute and unwavering in our mission be a bridge in society, in advocating and promoting ageing with dignity.
Happy Celebrations on this International Day of Older Persons!