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UBTH Pioneers Nigeria’s First Elder Care Aides

The University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) has made history by graduating Nigeria’s first set of Elder Care Aides (ECAs). These ECAs are a group of non-medical professionals who have been trained to provide assistance to elderly individuals in managing their unique health challenges and daily living [1].

Training Program and Graduation Ceremony
The 68 new ECAs underwent a three-week intensive course at UBTH in Benin City, where they were trained by experts from Nigeria, the United States of America (USA), and the United Kingdom [2]. The training program was organized as part of the 2023 edition of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons and the National Day of Older Persons [1].

Institutionalization and Future Plans
Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, announced that the training program would be institutionalized to provide ongoing hands-on training for caregivers who will offer essential services to older persons [2]. Furthermore, the hospital has plans to transform the training program into a full diploma course, aligning with their commitment to making UBTH the “Harvard of West Africa” [2].

Closing Gaps in Elderly Care
The training program, facilitated by Prof. Obehi Akoria, aimed to address critical gaps in the care of older persons, as they face various challenges both inside and outside of hospitals [2]. Leveraging the success of the Elder-Friendly Hospitals Initiative (ELDFRHI) launched by former Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, UBTH’s Geriatrics Team is also implementing the Ageing-Friendly Households Initiative (AGEFRHI) to promote successful aging through the lifecourse [2].

Ambassadors of Successful Aging
The newly certified ECAs will serve as ambassadors for the AGEFRHI campaign and the life course approach to successful (healthy) aging, as advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO) [2]. This comprehensive training has empowered the ECAs to provide quality care and support to elderly individuals.

Testimonials from Trainees
One of the trainees, Idomeh Ekijeme, expressed her gratitude for the training, stating that it allowed her to “unlearn and learn” about the care of the elderly and improve her communication skills [2]. She believes that with this knowledge, she can ensure that her mother, her entire family, and anyone she encounters in life will age gracefully.

Learn more:

  1. UBTH graduates Nigeria’s first Elder Care Aides
  2. UBTH Graduates Nigeria’s First Set of Elder Care Aides (ECAs) – THISDAYLIVE
  3. UBTH graduates 69 ‘elder care aides’ to cater to older persons – Businessday NG
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