By Sola Solanke
Expectedly, at any forum where health issues are being discussed, one is bound to witness very attentive, responsive and appreciative audience because of the importance that people attach to their health and well-being. So it was on Friday 17th of May,2019 when ‘’Health Talk’’ featured as part of the programmes for the 2nd Session of the 7th Synod of Diocese of Lagos West. The speaker was Revd. Dr. Benjamin Okere, a medical doctor and one of the priests in the Cathedral.
The presentation which had ‘’Aging gracefully: lifestyle modification’’ as its title, was premised on what is needed to live meaningful life as one gets older. It was made easier with the publication of the analysis in the programme of events for the synod. This initiative assisted the clergies and the synod delegates in the auditorium to follow through easily. The paper was divided into twelve broad categories for easy analysis. These include: the changing landscape of aging; personal action plan; aging: change and adjustment; negativity and old people; beliefs and opinions or myths; stereotypes; prejudice & discrimination; exercise and nutrition; independence to dependence; he who dies with the most toys wins; to retire or not to retire and the spiritual dimension. Each of these categories is further sub- divided into segments to the delight of the congregation.
The highpoint of the presentation by Revd. Dr. Benjamin Okere was the thunderous applause and the standing ovation accorded him by the congregation. An equally impressed Bishop Odedeji paid glowing tribute to Revd. Dr. Okere s presentation and scholarship.
Meanwhile, the question and answer session injected life and comic into an erstwhile serious event, with the type of comments made by some of the delegates. For instance, a female delegate admonished men who compare their spouses with girlfriends. As if hired as the advocate for men, another female delegate rose to challenge women to be alive to their responsibilities at home by being fashionable and trendy. The next respondent was a male delegate who went spiritual by urging couples to adopt divine intervention for godly living.
One basic fact that resonates throughout this presentation was the need for men and women to speak up whenever they have health or socio-economic challenges, rather than keep quiet and die slowly. The speaker acknowledges that aging is quite challenging, but encourages the aged to enjoy every day in a God-fearing way. He admonishes the aged not to be disappointed by any unrealised dream, not to run into debts, but should take good care of their health.