Geriatric Centre will meet growing population demands – UCH chief

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The newly inaugurated Geriatric Rehabilitation Centre at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, will meet the growing demands for the care of the aged in Nigeria.

Prof. Temitope Alonge, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, made the assertion at the inauguration of the Sir Kensington Adebutu Geriatric Rehabilitation Centre on Monday in Ibadan.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia says: “Geriatrics, or geriatric medicine, is a speciality that focuses on health care of elderly people.

“It aims to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults.’’

Alonge said adult population in Nigeria was increasing at an alarming rate, adding that this had made the demand for the care of the aged to be on the rise.

“We are now at the Geriatric Age in Nigeria.

“The adult population is increasing at an alarming rate and therefore the demand for care of the aged has been on the rise as against what it used to be in the past.

“The Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre in UCH, commissioned five years ago, is the only centre committed to the care of the aged.

“The centre has since its inception treated close to 30,000 patients with the daily patients figure attendance at 1,000 daily.

“It became obvious that the centre, with a 10-bed in-patient admission pattern, could no longer handle the increasing number of geriatric patients.

“What we are witnessing here today is a supplementary care service for the aged in Nigeria, West Africa and the African sub-region.

“The Sir Kensington Adebutu Geriatric Rehabilitation Centre, which was built, equipped and donated by Sir Kensington Adebutu, will go a long way in meeting the demands for the care of the aged in Nigeria,” he said.

According to him, the centre is the first and the best in African sub-region, with a 20-bed facility, holistic diagnostic centre with a state-of-the-art facility in the bedrooms.

Alonge, who described the centre as “Home away from home”, said that the use of the centre would prevent or reduce elder abuse by care givers employed for them at home.

He said patients would now be admitted as guests of the home at a stipulated fee, adding that the centre would be operated through a Private Public Partnership (PPP).

Also, Prof. Chris Bode, Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, said that the new centre should be seen by Nigerians as “Beacon” for well-to-do Nigerians.

“Nigerians should emulate and use their wealth to better the lot of the less privileged. This is the era of the care of the elderly,” he said.

In his remarks, the donor, Adebutu, applauded the management of the UCH for managing the Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre in a professional standard befitting it.

Adebutu said he was led in his spirit to use his wealth to better the health of the less privileged in the society.

“I have been doing this through the establishment of the Adebutu Foundation.

“It gladdens my heart to hear that such a laudable initiation is being commissioned in my life today. First, it is the first in Africa under the management of UCH.

“It will fill the void in the lives of the elderly and prolong their lives,” he said.

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, advised Nigerians to behave positively and always say the truth, adding that Nigeria would still be great.

He urged children to accord the care of their elderly a priority, saying that this would go a long way in reducing elder abuse.

Dr Abiola Olorode, daughter of the donor, appreciated everyone and promised that the Adebutu family would continue to contribute its quota to healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

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