Ahead of an international day of old people on October 1, a foundation stone of the National Ageing Center has been laid recently at AIIMS in the national capital. The National Ageing Center will provide state of the art clinical care to the elderly population and shall play a key role in guiding research in the field of geriatric medicine and related specialties. The Centre will also be a key training facility for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The Centre will provide multi-specialty healthcare and will have 200 general ward beds, which will include 20 medical ICU beds. The center will be developed at a cost of Rs 330 crores and shall be completed by February 2020.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also dedicated the underground connecting tunnel between AIIMS and JNPA Trauma Centre, and Power Grid Vishram Sadan at AIIMS along with the 500 bedded New Emergency Block and 807 bedded Super Specialty Block at the Safdarjung Hospital to the nation.
Informatively, on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations International Day for Older Persons (UNIDOP) celebrates the importance of this Declaration and reaffirms the commitment to promoting the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons.
Growing older does not diminish a person’s inherent dignity and fundamental rights.
On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day for Older Persons. This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing – which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing – and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.
In 1991, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.
Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 percent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth.
The interdependence between older persons’ social integration and the full enjoyment of their human rights cannot be ignored, as the degree to which older persons are socially integrated will directly affect their dignity and quality of life.
Older human rights champions today were born around the time of the adoption of the UDHR in 1948. They are as diverse as the society in which they live: from older people advocating for human rights at the grass root and community level to high profile figures on the international stage. Each and everyone demands equal respect and acknowledgment for their dedication and commitment to contributing to a world free from fear and free from want.
The 2018 theme aims to:
- Promote the rights enshrined in the Declaration and what it means in the daily lives of older persons;
- Raise the visibility of older people as participating members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately;
- Reflect on progress and challenges in ensuring full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons; and
- Engage broad audiences across the world and mobilize people for human rights at all stages.
On the day of laying of foundation stone for ageing persons, Mr. JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Smt. Anupriya Patel, Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare were also present at the event.
Addressing the participants, PM Modi said that our government has been successful in taking healthcare out of the ambit of the Health Ministry and today we have Rural Development Ministry, Water and Sanitation Ministry, and Child Development Ministry and AYUSH Ministry with our vision of healthcare.
He further added that our vision is not limited to hospitals, diseases, medicines, and super specialty care but also with the idea that affordable and equitable healthcare should be ensured for every citizen. PM Modi said that the government is equipping existing hospitals with all the modern facilities and at the same time it is also making sure that the healthcare facilities reach the remotest areas of the countries. He added that 58 district hospitals are being upgraded to medical colleges and the government has also sanctioned budgets for 24 new medical colleges.
PM Modi added that the global target for eliminating TB is 2030, but we have set 2025 as our target for India to eliminate TB, five years before the global target. He further stated that the government is providing Rs. 500 to the TB patients towards nutritional support.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the Ayushman Bharat programme. He said that under the National Health Protection Mission, 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) will be provided a coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme, he stated.
Mr. Nadda said that there has been a visible change in the tertiary healthcare in the country and assured that the government is committed to ensuring that the new AIIMS will meet the same standards of service as AIIMS, New Delhi. No effort will be spared to make them the very best, he added. He said that that the new AIIMS will have the same work culture and the government is taking all the steps to ensure that. He further stated that the Ministry in the past 4 years has not left any stone unturned – from monitoring the clean and effective implementation of national programmes to establishing 13 new AIIMS like institutes across the country. Reiterating the commitment of the government, he said under Ayushman Bharat, 150,000 sub-centers will be converted into Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) that will deliver comprehensive primary healthcare.
“The HWC would provide preventive, promotive, and curative care for non-communicable diseases, dental, mental, geriatric care, palliative care, etc. He further stated that the government has initiated universal screening of common NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancers along with Tuberculosis and Leprosy and everybody above the age of 30 years will be screened for these diseases and as such this will eventually help in reducing the disease burden of the country. “We will implement the vision of the Prime Minister in letter and spirit,” he added.
The underground tunnel is providing connecting facility between AIIMS and JPNA Trauma Centre and will reduce the commute time between the two centers. The completed length connectivity between two centers is approximately 1 km and has been completed at a cost of Rs. 44 crores.
The Powergrid Vishram Sadan has a 300 bedded night shelter facility meant for the patients and their relatives visiting AIIMS main hospital and JPNA Trauma center at AIIMS. The 11-floor facility has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 32.67 crores and funded by the Power Grid Corporation.
New emergency block at Safdarjung Hospital will house 64 triage beds, red zone for children & adults and 90 ICU beds for victims of road traffic accidents, acute trauma suffered by individuals at home or work, acute poisoning and severe medical and surgical emergencies. The block has been developed at a cost of Rs. 346 crores.
Super Specialty Block at Safdarjung Hospital holds tertiary care facilities in the areas of cardiovascular sciences, neurosciences, pulmonary medicine, nephrology, and endocrinology and shall be offering the facility of a Heart Command Centre, respiratory care facility, sleep labs, 24×7 dialysis unit, MRI guided Braine Suite, etc. It also has a 228-bedded private ward. The super specialty block has been developed at a cost of Rs. 920 crores.
Also present at the event were Smt. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health); Prof. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS New Delhi; Dr. Rajendra Sharma, Medical Superintendent, VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi and Mr. IS Jha, CMD, Powergrid Corporation along with the senior officers from the Health Ministry and faculty of AIIMS.