Stakeholders okay new standard curriculum for training of caregivers to elderly

Stakeholders in the healthcare sector have agreed to the full implementation of new formulated standard curriculum for training of caregivers to the elderly in the country.

The stakeholders made this known to newsmen on Saturday the end of a 3-day “Stakeholders engagement on the development of national benchmark statement and minimum standards in curriculum for training caregivers to older persons” in Abuja.

The stakeholders’ engagement was organised by the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), UNFPA and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

The stakeholders expressed the need for relevant agencies, states and local governments to get involved in the project.

The Director-General, National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC) Dr. Emem Omokaro said the meeting was geared towards building a concensus on the need to develop a national benchmark statement and minimum standards in curriculum for training different levels of caregivers.

Omokaro said some of the stakeholders and agencies that have statutory mandate in social and healthcare had issued their commitment towards supporting and certifying the project.

”We have NBTE for certification of skills, we have NPHCDA, Nursing and Midwifery Council, WHO, Federal Ministry of Health, UNFPA and other existing care agencies; so for the past three-days we have brain stormed on the challenges of ageing and care provision in Nigeria.

”We build concensus and that’s the communique that all the agencies signed that there’s need to develop a national benchmark statement and minimum standards in curriculum for training different levels of caregivers.

”And for standardisation of care agencies and even certification of care agencies operators in Nigeria, So, what we are coming-out here with is a draft benchmark statement and minimum standards in curriculum for training this different levels of caregivers and also certifying care agency operators.

“What these means is that we have to now move here to validation after having harmonised the zero draft.

“It means we have to now move to states because if we say it is national, then states have make inputs, so what we have here is a zero draft.”

Omokaro, therefore, assured the stakeholders that the process of validating the draft document would commence in earnest.

”Now, we are going to embark on validation exercise to ensure that we capture even the voices of stakeholders consultative forum on ageing, voices of older persons and then we have input from state departments and agencies in charge of older persons, social welfare departments because these concerns everybody.

”So, it is really an excitement for us in the NSCC to initiated these programmes and to have been able to strategically bring all the actors.

”We are hoping that by August 2023, we will finish the validation exercise and by then we will have a guideline document for administering care to older persons in Nigeria.

”We are calling on all the experts and some more because we now want to develop a standard guidelines and regulations as a policy document,” she said.

The Special Assistant to the President on Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Musa Bungudu said the project was critical and important to the welfare of older persons in Nigeria.

Bumgudu commended the centre for initiating the programme aimed at providing psycho-social and health support to the senior citizens in the country.

”I really commend the experts for coming together to develop a training framework that we never had, infact up till, yesterday I couldn’t believe the modules for the training that was developed we don’t have it in Nigeria,” he said.

Mrs Lilian Sule-Jiringho, the Founder of the Centre for Happy Elderly People (CHEP) said the engagement afforded her the opportunity to understand a new dynamics in caring for the elderly.

Sule-Jiringho promised to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in administering care for the elderly in her centre.

”My expectations is to see that I have been able to formalised all the training I acquired here and now with the existence of NSCC, who initiated the stakeholders meeting for developing a standard curriculum for training caregivers for the past three-days; we will continue to improve our services.

”When I go back, I am going use the knowledge acquired to improve on my work. So I am very happy to be part of this programme,” she said.

Dr Emmanuel Osundu, the Administrator of Tender Loving Care, an NGO expressed confidence on the ability of the centre to achieve its target of formulating a unique standard procedure for managing the health and wellbeing of older persons in Nigeria.

”We are here as stakeholders to develop policies and procedures on how to manage the health of the elderly. What I am going home with today is that we have achieved the purpose that is designed for us to come here.

”In terms of developing policies, procedures, benchmarks on how to manage the health of the elderly in Nigeria, that’s our theme and that’s what we accomplished here today.” he said

Source: News Agency of Nigeria