UCH launches ambulances for elderly on wheelchair
To further boost care of the elderly in Nigeria, the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan commissioned two ambulatory ambulances for the use of its Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre (CTAGC) to ensure home transport for its teeming clients.
UCH’s Chief Medical Director, Professor Temitope Alonge said the ambulatory ambulances with hydraulic lifts will ensure that even elderly people that are in wheelchairs can be brought to the centre for medical care.
The N20 million ambulatory ambulances donated by Chief Tony Anenih, Professor Alonge said will have paramedics on board as well as first aid kits and other gadgets for cardiac resuscitation to ensure the safety of its occupants every time.
According to him, a Geographical Information Scheme (GIS) mapping of the attendees of the centre has been done to earmark areas the ambulances will be going to pick and take back patients.
He stated that since the centre’s telephone system sends out short message system (SMS) to remind its clients their clinic appointment, it will also help to know those expected to be picked by the ambulance.
Professor Alonge said aside from the benefit of 50 per cent reduction in the cost of their care, elderly persons that receive care at the Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre also enjoy N18, 000 insurance services that enable them to have a medical care of up to about N500, 000.
He added that the centre was also embarking on community geriatric services to provide home care, especially for elderly patients with psycho-social challenges.
Professor Alonge, who said that the population of elderly in Nigeria had increased due to improved healthcare, however, decried Nigeria’s nonchalant attitude to their care.
He said the country only pay lip service to their care despite its many policies on the care of the vulnerable groups, including children under age of five.
“These are men and women in the prime of their lives have added value to the country. One way by which you can actually attend to the needs of these people is to make sure that there is a system that works for them so that when we too become old enough we have that system serving us,” he declared.
Earlier, CTAGC’s Director, Dr Lawrence Adebusuyi stated that the two ambulances will ensure the provision of domiciliary care, one of the visions of the geriatric centre, can be achieved.
Dr Adebusuyi, acknowledging the benevolence of Chief Anenih, stated that often times, older patients find it difficult coming to the hospital due to transportation.
He added that ambulances will be complementing the hospital’s tricycles that pick them from the gate to the centre for care.