Home Lifestyle Blessed End Care Advocates Ministry for Elderly, Organises Medical Outreach

Blessed End Care Advocates Ministry for Elderly, Organises Medical Outreach

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By Magnus Effiong

A Non-Governmental Organisation, Blessed End Care Initiatives (BECI) has urged the Federal Government to create a ministry for the elderly considering the fact that many State governments are unable to carter for welfare and health needs of their senior citizens, talkless of paying gratuities and pensions to retired workers.

BECI National Coordinator, Mrs Victoria Nelson, who gave the advice at the Ikot Ekpo community of Calabar metropolis, Tuesday, during the organisation’s medical outreach for the aged, decried ntense socio-economic hardship the aged were passing through and noted that such ministry should be exclusive for the welfare of senior citizens and not tight to any other social service ministry.

“The effort by Blessed End Care Initiatives is just to fill the gap of what we think the government should do for its senior citizens. The government should create a special ministry for our senior citizens especially in this era that State governments are not forthcoming in terms of gratuities and pensions.

“When I see our mothers and fathers on the Streets dejected, beggarly and struggling with life to survive the hard economy, I feel like shedding tears. To me they are not supposed to pass through this.

“In saner climes, the government takes care of the senior citizens because it is a blessing to live to an old age. Many of them go to bed with empty stomach. Many of them, who look up to the society, particularly during festive seasons like Christmas and Easter periods, for assistance, do not usually get the type of help they want.

“We went on a visitation the other day and many of them were crying saying they did not know people could remember them. Some of them told us that people refused to associate with them because they are old, and were even praying for death to take them away. We felt very emotional.

“Since there is a policy on aging now in our country, the needs of the elderly should be a priority. It is not a crime to be old and someone does not force old age on him/herself and as such they should be looked after.

“What preserves the elderly and makes them live a bit longer is when they know there is someone there for them. When they are neglected and branded witches and ostracized, it makes them die quick, and we should not forget that no one stays young forever.”

On how the organisation funds its activities, Mrs Nelson said, “We are carrying out this mission solely from our packets. We have no government sponsorship and neither are we having aide from anywhere abroad.

“We engage the services of medical practitioners to check their health status and prescribe medication and we try to provide the medications within our reach free of charge.

“Last December, we feted hundred of them gave out hand packs containing rice, tin tomatoes, maggi cubes, beans, salt, toiletries amongst other items. I appeal to our government to partner with us and let us together give a lifeline to our elderly and the less privileged.”

Also speaking, a 73 years old beneficiary, Madam Rosemary Ekpenyong, commended the organisation for coming to their help, saying society has abandoned them to their fate “to die like chickens.”

“My prayer is that God Almighty would cause those who take care of the aged to also live to a good old age. May our creator open doors of blessings to my daughter Victoria Nelson and her group in all they do as they have come to remember us during this Easter season,” Madam Ekpenyong prayed.

PillarToday learnt that the orgainsation has as its vision to ensure the older citizens live quality and healthy life as well as making aging desirable. The BECI also embarks on home care services, physiotherapy, medical home care services, amongst other activities.

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