Mentally ill persons have taken over the streets of the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis in the Western Region, raising concerns about the safety of pedestrians and road users.
Residents say one is likely to find a lunatic roaming the streets within every 100-metre interval, noting the activities of these mentally deranged persons had become a nuisance to them, and have thus called on city authorities to act swiftly.
Aside littering the streets with all sorts of waste, these lunatics who roam the streets daily, are said to be crossing roads haphazardly to the extent that some run after vehicles.Checks by Takoradi-based Connect FM revealed some of these mentally ill persons who have been abandoned by their relatives roam town almost naked, while some have become aggressive towards pedestrians and road users they come in contact with.
Others have taken over public places like bus stops and been using seats at those places as beds on which they rest day and night.
Residents fear the surge in lunatics on the streets could have negative consequences on tourism in the region. To some of them, it could deter tourist from visiting the twin city.
When contacted about the upsurge of lunatics in the metropolis, Public relations officer for Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, John Laste, said they were challenged in locating the families of the lunatics to enable the Assembly remove them from the streets.He explained they could remove them from the streets to the nearest psychiatric hospital but they would have to get a family member to be around for the processes before they could be admitted.
The assembly, he said, has tasked the Metro Social Welfare Directorate to come up with a strategy on how to get the lunatics from the streets but noted they were yet to receive a report to that regard.
He said the report is likely to be tabled before the assembly in its next management meeting.
Meanwhile, a senior staff nurse at the Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Coast, Malcom Ali, told Connect FM mental healthcare in Ghana is supposed to be free for all patients but inadequate funds compel relatives to fund some medical bills of their patients.
He underscored the need for the government to take full responsibility of psychiatric patients who are taken to psychiatric facilities by social welfare or district assemblies.