The Human Help and Development Group (THUHDEG), an NGO based in Northern region is currently implementing a three-year project dubbed: “Older Citizens Rights Monitoring (OCRIM) Project?.
The OCRIM Project is a local social protection and development initiative for older persons in northern Ghana, with the objective of mobilizing them to promote their inclusion and participation in decision-making at all levels of governance.
The initiative will also strengthen the voice of the elderly at the local level in order to better hold policy and duty bearers accountable for improved service delivery.
Currently, the OCRIM Project is being implemented on a pilot basis within the Tamale Metropolis and Sagnarigu district in the Northern region targeting 1,500 aged, with the aim of replicating it to other part of the country if prove successful.
Speaking in an interview in Sunyani, the Executive Director of THUHDEG, Ken Addae said exclusion of the elderly in decision-making process at all levels is not the best describing it as unfair treatment and continues violation of rights of elderly persons.
Mr Addae therefore stressed the need to promote fundamental human rights, participation and inclusion of older persons in decision-making.
According to him, improving on efficient, effective social protection delivery, strengthen social accountability and advocacy interventions at community level is very crucial in promoting the sustainable development of Ghana.
Under the project, he said 730 older persons were identified and assessed, out of which 320 elderly beneficiaries were registered for the project take off. This figure comprised of 70 disabled, 25 blind, 120 widows, 13 neglected/beggers and 91 needy/sick.
According to him, the identification and selection processes were carried out in collaboration and consultation with key community-based opinion leaders, volunteers and relevant lower structures of the assemblies such as assembly members, unit committee chairpersons.
The Executive Director identified the lack of proper health care provisions and nutritional support for the elderly as one of the major challenges.
He therefore called on government to provide nutritional support for vulnerable older persons under the LEAP programme.