Health Minister mandates establishment of geriatric departments in Nigerian public hospitals

Onyebuchi Chukwu

The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, mandated all federal hospitals to establish a geriatric department.

The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Thursday urged federal government hospitals yet to have geriatric departments to do so.

The geriatric medicine is a sub-speciality of internal and family medicine that focuses on health care of elderly people.

Mr. Chukwu, in an interview in Geneva, said the Federal Ministry of Health had mandated federal government hospitals to establish the department. He said the aim of having the department was to ensure that elderly people were well taken care of by specialised medical personnel.

The minister added that geriatric was meant to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults.

“We have a policy at the federal ministry of health regarding ageing. Now it is compulsory for all federal hospitals to establish a department of geriatric if they have not done so,” he said.

“We have a policy on geriatric care. We all know that one day we will become old and would need special medical care.

“We also have a policy on some other rare diseases like autism, and down syndrome. These are diseases that are gradually becoming issues,’’ he added.

The minister said, “Though there are many neglected diseases that could lead to disability, there was need to have a clear cut policy and legislation to address them.’’


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