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Journalists brief on ASI activities

Oct 4, 2010, 3:02 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

At least Fifteen Journalists drawn from the print and electronic media Friday gathered at the conference hall of the National Malaria Control Programme in Kainfing for a briefing on activities of Ageing with a Smile Initiative (ASI) as part of activities marking International Day of Older People.

In his welcoming remarks, Pa Modou Faal, head of ASI advocacy team said the purpose of the press briefing was to update journalist on the activities of Ageing with smile Initiatives ASI as October 1st commemorated to recognize the efforts of the elderly.

Faal commended the media for responding to their call, while urging them to continue their commitment and dedication in rendering services to the public.

He also assured the media that although ASI is a young organization, it will work hand in hand with them for the development of all, noting that the aim of the organisation is to improve the livelihood of the elderly. In giving an overview of ASI, Bala Musa Joof, Coordinator said Ageing with a Smile Initiative is a new and innovative drive launched in The Gambia in January 2010 by the Hon. Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Abubacarr Gaye.

He noted that the initiative aims to improve the health and general welfare of the elderly people in the country.

According to him, ASI is a registered community based organisation out to improve the lives of the elderly. He also told journalists that ASI is here to render assistance to the elderly by giving them medicament free of charge and also organising fund raising for them to make a better life.

He said looking at the problems of the elderly persons, most of whom suffer from diabetes, hypertension, among other diseases, ASI deemed it necessary to intervene and render assistance to the elderly.

This initiative, he added is based on helping the elderly at their homes and communities, and is being piloted in the Greater Banjul Area in partnership with government institutions, the private sector and some NGOs.

He said the outcome of the pilot phase will be shared with a wide range of stakeholders including government, NGOs and community members at a seminar before it is rolled out to other communities in the country.

He highlighted some of their key intervention areas such as promotion of personal hygiene and basic sanitation for the elderly, provision of portable water supply, laundry, appropriate clothing.