By; Adu John
A member of the Public Relations (PR) team of the Accra psychiatric hospital, Francisca Ntow, in an interview disclosed that, lack of support from the government and stakeholders, has led to the high charges on mental cure in the various psychiatric hospitals in Ghana.
According to her, this prevents people from taking mentally affected persons to the hospitals, but rather leave them to the streets and other places.
“Not only the cost of treatment but because government and other stakeholders are not interested in mental illness, the hospitals have to always buy and sell the medications to those who brings their patients for treatment which mostly cost a lot,” Francisca said.
She also disclosed some of the challenges the hospital is facing by saying, “though we lack infrastructures and financial difficulties but what we have now a days been seeing is lack of relative’s support where families come and dump their patients here and never visit them again”.
Speaking to a nurse in charge of the female geneotric ward two, Miss Jemimah, she also laid down some of the difficulties they go through as psychiatric nurses.
She said, “stigmatization has been the societal problem to us and it does not ends with the patients but we the nurses as well, you tell someone you are a nurse at the psychiatric hospital and is like you are the one receiving treatment”.
She added that mental issue is very close to us as human and according to the world health organization every 1/5 persons you select will suffer mental issue and every ¼ have either mental issue and will advise the public to stop those attitudes besides there is a thin line between normality and abnormality.
According to the member of the PR team, Francisca, they are still putting measures in place to educate the public on mental issues, so as to eradicate those societal problems they have been encountering, such as stigmatization, discrimination, unfair treatment of family members to mentally affected persons and others, as well as to encourage them to accept mentally affected persons who are treated and discharged when they are integrated back into the society.
These revelations, were made known after some students from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), visited their premises for some information on March 28, 2019.
Accra psychiatric hospital is one of the Ghana’s biggest mental health hospitals, which has been abandon for decades by successive government who comes to power.
If not for the support of other stakeholders, they would have been left with old facilities, over aged roofing, leaking walls and others, which are impacting negatively on healthcare delivery.