Research ranks African countries poorly on well-being of older persons

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182910471Dr Emem Omokaro, LEADS Scholar, Aging Studies, National Universities Commission (NUC), says recent research indicates that African countries fare poorly on well-being of older persons.

Omokaro, in a paper made available to our correspondent at the sidelines of a conference on research for aging, said Nigeria had dropped in such ranking.

The title of the conference is “Inaugural International Conference of African Society for Aging Research and Development (ASARD)”.

According to Omokaro, only Mauritius and South Africa have put in place policy frameworks to respond to the challenges posed by the accelerated increase in the population of older persons.

“The HelpAge Global Age Watch index annual ranking of countries on well-being of their older persons uses internationally comparable data on health.

“These are indicated by life expectancy at 60, and also healthy life expectancy at 60, income security indicated by pension coverage and poverty level, capabilities in terms of skills and continuing productive engagement at 60.

“Enabling environment-indicated by safety, access to transportation, housing and general psychological well-being of older persons show many African countries, including Nigeria, occupying almost all of the last 10 positions.

“The recently released 2015 Global Age Watch ranking shows that Nigeria has dropped in ranking from 85 to 86 out of 96 countries.’’

She said that population aging which was once a concern for only developed countries, had also become a challenge to developing countries.

According to Omokaro, ASARD aim to build a globally relevant Africa-oriented aging network that will stimulate critical thinking and structured approach to tackling inherent challenges in population aging.

She said that expected outcomes of the conference were to identify research priorities, institute joint research projects across universities and share knowledge to policy makers, among others.