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‘CBID Ageing with Dignity gives needy patients much hope

15 November 2023 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A media forum on the theme ‘Situation of the Elders and the Persons with Disabilities’ was held on November 9, 2003 at the Methodist College Auditorium in Colombo. Here Dr. Muditha Amerasinghe, Assistant Medical Officer of Health, Nuwaragampalatha MOH, Anuradhapura is seen addressing the gathering while the other participant seen in the picture from left are: Ms. Beulah- Programme coordinator of the CBID Ageing with Dignity, Mr. Astrin National Coordinator, Elders Rights of the National Secretariat for the Elders, Rev G.A Sathish, Project Coordinator - Methodist Church/Deaf Link , CBID Agring with Dignity

Providing care for the unique health needs of the elderly is not the same as providing care for other age group patients.  Having this in mind, the health sector should look into this aspect of health service

Dr. Muditha Amerasinghe MOH Nuwaragam Palatha Central

A notable achievement in the medical camps was the identification of patients with cancer and kidney disease

It is not a secret that our country is facing a situation where we are not yet prepared to deal with the fundamental rights of the older people of our population.  On speaking to many of our elderly the undertone of their conversation would be “we still have feelings, and we are not dead”.
We can understand that this sentiment arises from their concerns about health and care. The Elders have their rights, and it is our responsibility to make sure that their rights are protected. The rights and dignity of older people cannot be neglected. We need to prioritise these in our social systems. 
“Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Ageing with Dignity” is a project implemented by the Methodist Church –Deaf Link. With the assistance of their donor partners BMZ and CBM of Germany this project is being implemented initially in North Central and Northern provinces of Sri Lanka. 


A media forum on the theme ‘Situation of the Elders and the Persons with Disabilities’ was held on November 9, 2023 at the Methodist College Auditorium in Colombo 3. According to the Chief Coordinator of the project CBID Ageing with Dignity, Rev. G. A Sathish gave a brief overview of the project and mentioned that this was a pioneer effort where the communities are being trained to work in collaboration with government authorities and the existing systems to look into the needs of the older persons in the communities. 
The programme coordinator of the said project, Ms. Beulah, gave a detailed description of achievements thus far in this project. There were 15 medical camps held in Anuradhapura and nine (9) in Mannar. In these camps, 16 different types of services including the regular medical checkups, physiotherapy, distribution of Assistive Devices including spectacles, wheelchairs, etc. were carried out. All in all, around 2274 elders directly received the benefits. A notable achievement in the medical camps was the identification of patients with cancer and kidney disease.  Due to negligence and high cost the elderly fail to get diagnosed with serious illnesses. Thanks to the general checkups by the doctors and the follow ups 16 elders were identified as having mouth cancer, two (2) with blood cancer and another 16 with kidney disease.


Astrin, the National Coordinator for the Elders’ Rights from the National Secretariat for Elders, spoke of the many issues concerning the status of elders in our country.  He spoke extensively on the Elders homes available in the country and the facilities these centres provide. He also explained the basis on which the elder’s allowance of Rs. 2000 is provided to enlisted elders. As the allocation of the elder’s allowance is limited by the Treasury an amount of Rs. 100 is collected from this allowance to provide other services to the elderly. Recreation and Daycare facilities for elders, spiritual pilgrimage, Arogya Medical Aid programme, Diriya Piyasa are some of such services that are provided by the National Secretariat for Elders. 
The CBID Ageing with Dignity project is implemented with the collaboration of the Government Authorities in the area. The technical support and guidance are provided by the Regional Department of the Health Services and the MOH provided support on the field-level to carry out the medical camps.  The Kachcheri, the DS and the Department of Education authorities assisted in their own capacities to provide approvals, guidance and other logistical matters. 
MOH Nuwaragam Palatha Central Dr. Muditha Amerasinghe has been involved in this project for about a year. He was present at the forum as a guest speaker. In his speech, Dr. Amerasinghe spoke about the importance of Geriatric medicine. “Providing care for the unique health needs of the elderly is not the same as providing care for other age group patients.  Having this in mind, the health sector should look into this aspect of health service,” said Dr. Amerasinghe. He also stressed on the importance of giving knowledge to the younger generation about the importance of the unique health needs of the elderly and improving the quality of life of our elders. 
In conclusion, Rev. Sathish underscored another important result achieved in implementing the CBID project in the two districts. The Anuradhapura and Mannar are areas where the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities are co-habiting and through this project the Methodist Church-Deaf Link is able to work successfully using religious and ethnic harmony. 

 


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