By: Sulaiman Stom Koroma.
On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons (resolution 45/106). This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.
In 1991, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons (resolution 46/91). In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population aging in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all.
Since the declaration, Sierra Leone has been actively involved in the celebration and commemoration of the Day for Older Persons. As always, this year’s celebration will be held on the 1st of October. Already, many organizations are busy preparing for this celebration, one of them is HealthCare for the Aged- an organization that has rendered support to over 2,956 people in several deprived communities by providing mobile phones to communities to alert them of an emergency, conducting free screening, and providing medication and other medical assistance in those communities.
Speaking ahead of the celebration, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of HealthCare for the Aged Mohamed S. Bah told me how important it is for them to collaborate with the government of Sierra Leone and other organizations like FOCUS 1000 to celebrate this day. “I am thrilled and excited to work with the government of Sierra Leone and other senior organizations like FOCUS 1000 to celebrate this day. As a new organization that has contributed immensely to giving free medical services to deprived communities and people, it is a great honor to celebrate and talk on issues affecting older people in this country”. He said.
Mr. Bah furthered that the situation of older people in the communities they work in is very deplorable and needs immediate attention. “We have been providing free medications to the aged from the little resources my members and I are raising, those contributions can’t sustain the overwhelming numbers we are having now. Hence the more reason why we are calling on the government, local and international partners, and individuals to support us in ensuring that we meet the needs of those people”.
With the celebration now at the doorstep, the organization is hoping that they will raise some funds to continue their work in deprived and hard-to-reach communities.