Basic Needs, a Ghanaian Non-Governmental Organization, has called on the Ghana Government to review the country’s free medical treatment policy by including free mental health care services.
Mr Benard Azure, the Project Officer of Basic Needs Ghana, made the call during this year’s Mental Health Day celebration held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
Mr Azure said the inclusion of mental health care into the National Health Insurance Scheme would help to address the challenges of mental health and called on the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to consider the proposal in reviewing the amended National Health
He said one of the major challenges confronting mental health was the ability of the client to purchase medicines coupled with irregular supply of medicines.
The Project Officer said the lack of specialists and middle level professionals and under-funding of the sector by government, were also major concerns and appealed to all stakeholders particularly families and communities to contribute their quota towards providing better health care for mental health patients.
Mr Philip Aboagye, a Psychiatric Nurse at the Ghana Health Service said persons confronted with mental health problems could regain their health if given proper care.
As part of the event, Basic Needs with funding from the Department for International Development (UKaid), a United Kingdom based charity organization in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service provided free medical treatment to about two hundred mental health patients drawn from some selected districts in the Region.
The event which was on the theme: “Dignity in Mental Health: Psychological Mental Health First Aid for All”, attracted stakeholders including civil society organizations, seamstresses and beauticians, traditional and religious leaders and the media. It was preceded by route march throughout the Bolgatanga Municipality.
The Mental Health Day was set aside by the World Health Organization to create awareness of psychosocial disorders and to promote mental health across the world.
Source: Ghana News Agency
Oral Ofori is Founder and Publisher at www.TheAfricanDream.net, a digital storyteller and producer, and also an information and research consultant.